When you are creating a physical shop, you decide what the customer sees first, the flow of how they walk your store and location of the check out cashier. Essentially you use your instinct and what you know about your customer to design the flow of your store. Usability is the same thing for Websites. Its enabling users to navigate your website seamlessly.
If you have never designed a website, this might seem like a daunting task thats why we sit down with you and discuss your business intimately so we can assist in creating the same customer flow.
Some things to consider in ensuring that your website flows smoothly is to ensure that your website design, functionality, navigation, consistency, visual clarity are in tune with your objectives. As a rule of thumb, we integrate our over 20 years of experience and ensure that your users don’t have to think. When Users don’t think, they keep clicking and that is a good sign of Usability. The more clicks the merrier! (as long as the click isn’t the X on the browser)
Web Usability is the practice of ensuring that a website is intuitive. Intuitive in such a way that even a Grade Three student would be able to navigate the website seamlessly and find your product/service without thinking and just following their instinct. Usability is ensuring your website is User-Friendly. The worst thing you can do is to make a fancy looking website that costs a lot of money but your users find it frustrating to book your service or buy your product.
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When designing your website, you should always have your End User in mind. Here are a few Usability Guidelines to remember when designing your website:
- Can the User find my Services from each page of my website?
- Can the User easily identify my products and what I am selling within 2 clicks of a landing page?
- Does the User automatically know what I’m “selling” as soon as they see my website?
- If a User does not know what products/services I sell, will they be able to identify it quickly?
- Is my design placing all the important information on the eye of sight of the User?
- Is my Website’s Navigation clear and concise?
- Are the Search Engines able to easily index my website? (To find out how many pages Google has indexed from your website use the Search Operator “Site” ie. site:www.yourdomain.com yourdomain.com and that should tell you how many pages Google has indexed of your website)
Checklist for Accessibility:
- Page Speed – does your website load within 4 seconds? has the entire page loaded within 11 seconds?
- Colors – do your website attract or distract from your message?
- Font Size – can you users easily read your text and headings and be guided according?
- 404 Page Not Found – do you have adequate routing for dead pages?
- 301 Redirects – does your website redirect old pages permanently?
Checklist for Navigation:
- Visibility – can a user easily identify your main navigation bar?
- Choice of Menu Labels – use the KISS principle here, keep it simple because anything long or uncommon will waste valuable time
- Use of Logo – Users are familiar with clicking on your logo to go to the homepage, make sure this is the case with your website
- Maximum of 7 Parent Menus and only use Grand Children if really necessary
- Use Breadcrumb navigation if necessary – don’t let your users get lost in your website especially if you have a lot of content
Checklist for Content:
- Use of Paragraphs – to break down content is more effective bulk content
- Use of Link Colors – ensure your users know what is a link and what is an emphasis
- Brevity is the Key – ensure your content connects with your users
- SEF-URLs – ensure your URLS are easy to read
- Easy to read Page Titles – this is self-explanatory