Website usability is the cornerstone of your marketing – is yours strong enough?
What is Website Usability?
Everyone knows what a website is – but what exactly is website usability and why does it matter? In this day and age, websites have become the cornerstone of your marketing. Usability simply means “user-centered.” Kind of like how a doctor’s office should be “patient centered.” However, if you’ve ever met a doctor who has poor bedside manner, you know how it feels when the system seems off balance.
So – is your website user friendly or not? Your website could actually be working against you due to many factors including poor design. We come across so many companies who don’t understand the value of a well-designed website. But customers and clients are paying attention to even the smallest of details on your site.
A small inconvenience like a slow loading page or a hidden shopping cart icon could lead to a loss of a sale. But good news – there is a lot of research and technology out there to help you optimize your website usability.
Hints for Beginners
If you are new to website usability, we wanted to share of few of the industry secrets that will seriously benefit you and your company. Did you know that you have 8 seconds to get someone’s attention with your home page before they click away? If you want to maximize the potential of your website, check out these professional ways to do it:
- Research your competitor’s websites in order to see how the big players are designing their websites. They have way more money to spend than you do, so utilize what you see in order to reap similar benefits
- Create a current usability report to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the website.
- After looking over the usability report, make necessary adjustments and watch the site for 30-60 days. Then do another web site usability report and see what has improved.
- Utilize AB testing – build a website with 3 different formats and then track which one performs the best and figure out why.
- Utilize three essential tools for website usability: heat mapping, scroll mapping, and confetti. Heat mapping will track where the eyes go and where the mouse goes on your webpages. You can see where people are lingering and where they are skimming or moving on. With scroll mapping, you can discover how far down users are scrolling before they click away. And confetti will show you where your clicks are coming from.
There are many best practices for website usability, but we will list some of the most powerful ones. To start, make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing:
- Easy to read text
- Complementary colors
- Simple and clear design format
- Skimmable content (people only read 28% of what is on a page)
- Bullet points instead of long paragraphs
- Utilize headings to organize and highlight important content
- Use bold and italics sparingly for only the most essential content
- Incorporate images – either stock photos or original designs – to break up the text
Don’t fall prey to any of the website usability mistakes beginners make:
- Broken links
- Cluttered or busy web pages
- Slow loading websites or pages
- Lack of mobile responsiveness
- Lack of continuity in design, colors, texts, etc.
- Inferior content
- Contact information or shopping cart icon hard to find
If you care about website usability and implement some of these techniques, you will experience more traffic in no time at all. Just do your research, scope out the competition, and experiment until you find what works for you. Don’t re-invent the wheel – use the research and knowledge of those who have come before you to maximize your website usability.
Does your website usability match these techniques, bringing your company and it’s audience together in the best experience possible?