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Web Design Usability

Tips on Improving Your Website’s User Experience, Part 1

Websites are a representation of your business and your products or services offered. That is why it is so important to give your users a great experience no matter how they interact with your business.

Our team has come up with ten usability guidelines for web developers and business owners to follow. This list is a starting point to providing the user experience that you want to give your customers online. Remember, if users come to your website and have trouble finding information or ordering a product, they will leave your website and in turn you will lose business.

Website Usability Tip #1: Visibility

Always show users where they are at on the website. 

  • Use breadcrumbs
  • Highlight where the user is at in the menu navigation
  • Use sitemaps

Website Usability Tip #2: Communicate Clearly

The website should speak the user’s language. Nothing should be left up for interpretation. 

  • Links and buttons should be concise and clear
  • Labeling should make sense to the user
  • Labeling should also be short and to the point
  • ‘Error 404’ pages mean nothing to most users
  • Buttons should be labeled in a way to bring a call to action (buy now)

Website Usability Tip #3: User Error

Users often click on items by mistake and need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted area without having to go through an extended process. 

  • Use clear breadcrumbs
  • Use sitemaps
  • Have a search button
  • Make sure your logo is clickable to take the user back to the home page
  • In some instances pop boxes may be useful warning your users of their error

Website Usability Tip #4: Consistency

Consistency is key to keep your users happy and coming back for more. Users should not have to reorient themselves each time they click on a page.

  • Keep the same format for all pages of your website
  • Placement of menu navigation should remain consistent from page to page
  • Heading font sizes and placement should be consistent
  • Labeling should not change
  • Functionality of buttons, forms, etc. should not change

Website Usability Tip #5: Error Prevention

Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place.

  • Eliminate error-prone conditions
  • Check for errors
  • Present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action
  • Design a simple environment

Check back next week for the remaining 5 usability tips. In the meantime, if you would like our team to review your website you can request a free website analysis video to get a professional free analysis of your website, emailed to you in the form of a short video.

We look forward to helping you create the ultimate user experience.

Written by: Michel Ann Sharritt
Posted by: Situated Research

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