If we have to explain this in simple words – usability means that your website has to be user-friendly and made in such way that users can find anything they need. One of the biggest misconceptions commonly led by the companies who are looking for usability is that it is an expensive task to do. However, there are really big companies spending thousands of dollars for testing and improving of their usability, but when it comes to everyday company usability, it can be achieved without serious knowledge and expensive means.
Yes if you focus on certain things on your website style and structure you can make it user-friendly without spending thousands of dollars and without taking courses on improving website usability. Here we are going to share 18 best usability tips for web designers to improve the accessibility of website.
Homepage Linked Logo at Top-Left
Put your logo on the top left corner and adjust the menu under it. You can also place the menu in the right side. Don’t forget to link your logo to the homepage as it is unexpected by web users mostly.
Don’t Forget to Add an Expressive Tagline
A tagline represents a motto or a statement that has something in common with the mission or philosophy of the company itself. If you are wondering how to choose the most appropriate one, keep in mind it should be an obvious element as it stays on the front page and it should describe the idea of the website.
According to one of the latest statistics, a website has only 7 seconds to capture the attention of the visitor. So you can imagine how important the clear tagline is – if you don’t have a good one – the visitors will not visit your site as much as you need. Adding no tagline is one of the worst usability mistakes web designers must avoid.
Put ‘Search’ Box on the Top
Putting your search box on the top of the site is as important as putting a precise tagline and a linked logo. So don’t make your visitor waste his time in search of the ‘search’ box rather than searching your site for the content he is looking for.
Avoid Extensive Use of Graphics, Go for Using Visuals Strategically
Remember that abusive use of graphics and elements are always bad for the website. The best way to improve the look of your web page is to decorate it. This is even better for usability point of view because it will not make the site “heavy”.
But if you go for using visuals purposefully it will make your visitor pay more attention to the content to understand it in a better way. Infographics, charts, tables or relevant images which are places in connection with your text can make your user stay for longer time period.
Sitemaps is a Must Have for Clean and Organized Web Design
This feature is relatively new, so if you haven’t heard of it – don’t worry – it improves the navigation of the webpage and also helps SEO marketers a lot. Basically it represents a representation of the architecture of the website. It can be a document or a web page that has all the pages on a web site, organized in a hierarchical fashion.
Don’t Break the Workflow
Workflow means an operation that is performed by a user on the website like registering on the website, filling out a form, browsing etc. Remember that you have to let the user cancel every operation because if you don’t do so, you will force them to finish even if they don’t want to do so.
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Your Website Must Pass User Readability Test
Be concise in whatever you are saying to your visitor. In fast digital era no one has time to spend hours on one website to find the information he wants. So try to come straight to the point. Don’t use complex words and long phrases, remember you are not here to prepare English literature assignment you are here to engage with the world audience from every group of age and intelligence.
If you want to test your site for readability approach you can use this Readability Test Tool.
Don’t Create Congested Environment on Your Website
Always keep proper distance between the different elements of pages to give a clean and organized look. Congested stuff can complicate the visual effect of any user and can force him leave the site soon. Apply this policy to your web pages as well by adding headlines, segments, bullets etc to keep your content organized.
Posting Style Must Match Your Update Frequency
You must have seen that different themes offer different posting options like in magazine style or blog style. You can use this factor for the improved usability of your website like if you update it daily with 2-3 posts then go for the magazine style but if update it just 2-4 times a week then it is better to have a static look with best posts showing above.
Shopping Friendly Style is Imperative for Commercial Sites
If you are selling products on your website then the most important thing is to show prices and specs in the same window in grid or list style rather than making a buyer to click or hover over the product to get these details. Having this information on one page about all products placed there makes a potential buyer decide quick about what he should buy. So offer everything at the first sight at your website to turn a visitor into a buyer quickly.
Let Your Users Scan Your Web Pages Easily
If your webpage is ready to read, then you can be sure that you have accomplished one of the most important steps in maintaining the loyalty of your visitors. According to some usability tests, the majority of users don’t read the web pages because they are just looking for emphasized or bold text or said in other words, just scan through them.
Short Yet Clear Permalinks Boost Sharing across the Web
Short and precise permalinks make them share quickly and adjust into the place where they are pasted. So try to be as precise in case of permalinks as you can rather than presenting a confusing bunch of number and characters to be shared.
Positive Feedback is Essential for User-Site Relationship
Feedback is essential for every website. It is the communication channel between the users and the support of the site, and by providing feedback you are making sure that the support will give its best to meet your needs. If there is an error on the site, don’t just send “error occurred” but instead, describe it – this will improve the error handling.
Say ‘NO’ to CAPTCHAs
CAPTCHAs are those annoying texts that you have to type in, in order to prove you are not a computer. Well, this annoys most people, so make sure not to use it on your site, because according to a research people tend not to visit such sites again.
Use Consistent UI Controls
Confusing UI controls including the images look like buttons but not clickable or using underlines text to look like a link but nothing to be clicked, will create confusion only and make the user leave your site eventually. So be consistent and clean in case of UI controls.
Make Important Pages Easy to Reach
Every website has certain pages on it like contact page, about us, technical support, FAQs, policy etc. Make sure all of these pages are easily visible to your visitor. You can add them in the primary menu above the logo and can repeat them in the footer area as well. These 2 positions are considered the best option to place these pages.
Splash Pages Suit Forbes.com Well
Don’t go for using splash pages for advertisement. You can rather put ads them on your home page, in the side bar. A splash page advertisement can earn few bucks for you but can annoy hundreds of visitors and potential buyers in fact. You must have seen such advertisement on forbes.com but one has to reach its quality and traffic to use this kind of advertisement.
We tried to sum up the best usability tips for you and we hope that these web design usability tips must help you make your site user friendly in a better way!