Crucial Website Usability Checklist That You Should Not be Ignoring
What if your website scores pathetically on the usability front? The probable impacts could be that your business will suffer immensely and you will find it extremely hard to communicate precisely with your targeted audience. If this is not enough, your targeted visitors may leave your website feeling frustrated [read it as irritated] while trying to navigate the site without losing their minds.
So, if you are not giving adequate attention to the usability aspect of your website, chances are that your website will find its place in the famous league of ‘useless’ websites that people in general abhor. So, do not let this happen to your website. Here in this article, we are going to give a roundup of some common usability factors that you need to remain aware of while designing and developing your website to score high on the usability front -
Navigation Comes First
Okay, let us get this straight. If the navigation of your website is immensely complex, you are not going anywhere close to impress your audience. Complex navigation only leads to unnecessary confusion and baffles the audience. So, the sooner you realize this truth, the better it is for your online presence. If your visitors do not get what they have been looking for within two or three clicks, they are most probably going to bounce back. So, you need to work hard to make sure that the navigation of your website is simple and your visitors are facing least difficulties while navigating your website.
Here are some cool tips to further simplify the navigation of your website –
- Hyperlink home page of your website with the Logo, as visitors are in the habit of clicking on the logo in an attempt to return to the home page.
- Add footer links. However try to keep the number of footer links to a logical limit.
- Add drop down options whenever possible.
- Add a search field, since most visitors are not divinely informed about the location of the product or information that they have been looking for long.
Amazon, the undisputed market leader, is doing a fabulous job in this sphere. It has cut down massively on the clutter and the simple navigation is hard to overlook. There is almost nothing that you can call ‘excess’. MotoCMS also has done the same for its premium MotoCMS website template section. Its logo is hyperlinked with the home page and the footer links as we have discussed earlier have been kept to a minimum.
Make it Load Fast
You simply cannot take the visitors for granted. However, personally I have come across innumerable number of sites with pathetic loading time that kill the whole users’ experience and usability thing. How come you are going to deliver your message across to the targeted audience if your website fails to load within 5 seconds? Moreover, visitors are no longer tied to their PCs to be able to stay connected, they are using smartphones, tables and other cool devices and therefore, if your website is only meant for the swanky desktop devices, your marketing initiative going to fall flat on the ground.
Here are the few things that you must do to make your website load fast –
- Do not use excessive graphics on the website.
- Limit the number of http request to be sent to the server.
- Use CSS Sprites. [if you have no idea what is this, try the following CSS Sprites generator – CSSSprites.com]
Page Header and Page URL
I feel uneasy and unsure about sites whose url looks like this – http://www.example.com/pageid?1254=14. Well, there is nothing wrong with using number in the URL and I have nothing against this practice but you must accept the fact that when you are using page id as oppose to a clear url like this – http://www.example.com/webdesign/cms-web-design , it makes it a bit tough for people to understand what the page is all about it. A proper URL reassures the audience that the page contains the information that they have been looking for.
Page name or page header is certainly another important element that plays crucial role in assuring the visitors that they have landed on the right page. So, make sure that you are not leaving any room for confusion in this section otherwise, it could have catastrophic impact on the whole process. Crazyegg.com is doing the job quite successfully. Take a look at its page headers and you will realize that headlines are quite easy to understand and they also reassure the audience that they are on the right page.
Page header is not enough to assure the audience that they have landed on the right page; you need to do more to make the visitors feel that they are not lost. Apple has done a credible job by highlighting section in the navigation that visitors are browsing. It gives the audience pretty good idea where they are. It is a smart way to assure the visitors that they are not lost and the page is just a few clicks away.