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.