Aspects of Website Usability You Should Understand
Any business that does not have a user-friendly website will fail. Although that sounds like a bold statement, it’s the truth for many reasons. The primary reason why website usability is important is that visitors will click off a site within seconds if they are unable to navigate it with ease. There are far too many options for them to deal with an ineffective site.
Unfortunately, most users will not return to a website once they experience problems. The opposite is also true in that people respond to websites that are easy to navigate. In other words, if your website is user-friendly, you will have higher conversion rates. Given the critical importance of website usability, why are there so many websites that are difficult to use? The reason is that many brands don’t realize that a problem exists. Let’s take a closer look.
Mobile Device Optimization
It wasn’t too many years ago when consumers had a lot of trepidation about accessing a website from their mobile device, especially if they were going to make a purchase. However, this is no longer the case. While there will always be some consumers that don’t feel good about eCommerce altogether, far more people use their Smartphone to access websites. More than half of the visits to sites are from a mobile device, and that number is increasing.
Ease of E-commerce
An issue that often exists with eCommerce and mobile phones is that some graphics are not visible, which means a potential customer might not be able to view a product or make a purchase. The frustration often arises because they end up navigating away from the intended page to an area that is not of interest. This often results in the user leaving the site altogether. At a minimum, it makes them less likely to visit again because of the bad experience.
Satisfying Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
The purpose of web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) is to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities, which is approximately 15 percent of the global population. Complying with WCAG means ensuring your website is accessible to individuals with the following types of disabilities: neurological, speech, auditory, cognitive, visual, and physical.
One way to ensure accessibility is by captioning all videos using best practices. Generally speaking, you’ll want to ensure adherence to WCAG standards by making your website exceptionally easy to understand and operate, regardless of a person’s capabilities.
What Visitors Expect
As it turns out, it’s not difficult to meet the needs of most website visitors because we know what they want. For instance, visitors hope you have a search bar located in the header and your contact information at the top of the screen. They also expect to see your logo, social media icons, and menu navigation. These are all elements that should be included in your website using best practices if you want it to be user-friendly.
Other Important Considerations
During the design of your website, some of the most critical elements for optimal usability are positioning, alignment, size, contrast, and color. In addition to these elements, positive user experience means the essential information is on the home page. Why? Because it builds trust and credibility. As you consider these elements, keep in mind that there must always be consistency from one page to the next.
While you could focus more on website design than website usability, that probably won’t yield the results you want and need to maintain a viable business.
The design of your website is not about how it looks, but how it works.