In the recent years web design has adopted certain standards. To make a lasting impression on website visitors, it is important to build an experience that will go beyond that of a plain but usable website. However, this does not imply that usability is now less important. It simply takes a different role in web design and now forms the basis of an amazing user experience. Usability focuses on user-centered design.
Here are five important principles of good website usability.
1. Accessibility and Availability
If visitors try to access your website but it does not work for whichever reason, the website becomes useful to them. The following are some of the basics of accessibility and availability:
- Mobile responsiveness: Ensure that your website can handle slow connections and varying screen sizes.
- Broken Links: Ensure that your website has no dead links
- Server uptime: Ensure that your visitors never get an error when attempting to load your website. You should invest in quality hosting.
Clarity is at the core of usability. If you confuse or distract your visitors, they might forget their initial goal of visiting your site or they may require additional time to find what they are looking for. Whatever the case, your visitors will not view your site as being a user-friendly site and will probably leave dissatisfied and never plan on coming back.
Your aim should always be to design interfaces that are intuitive and require no instructions or even a lengthy process of trial and error to understand them. The trick to intuitive design is making use of what people are already familiar with. Alternatively, you can consider creating something totally new but is easy to learn.
Credibility is critical for any type of website. Even when people find content that they are searching for, if they have no trust in you, this content will be worthless. Your site can make visitors skeptical about your business in various different ways including your reputation, the quality of your content, or whether you actually exist.
Even though it is important for your website to have clarity, the content should also be relevant. It is also important to understand your users and their reasons for visiting your website. Define your users, talk to them to find out their reasons for visiting, and create content around these reasons.
Good usability will be achieved by following the 5 principles discussed in this article. Always remember that you cannot achieve good usability for your website overnight. You will have to invest in research and keep on refining. However, the dividends achieved from it will be worth it.