Why Usability Is King When It Comes To Website Design

Website by Emily Jarvis

In order to make a lasting impression with your website visitors, you need to implement interfaces that go beyond simply a plain, usable website. Web design now forms the basis for greater expectations for an excellent user experience.

The following points will insure people enjoy using your site, remember you, spread the word about your site and inevitably return.

Including a Tagline

Providing a motto or statement that represents your company’s ethos and mission should be the most prominent element of a website front page. This can describe the website in one phrase, and express the company philosophy.

Statistics show a website has just 8 seconds to grab the attention of a visitor, at which point they make a decision as to whether further browsing is worth their while.

Availability and Accessibility

It is important your server is constantly active so visitors don’t get an error trying to load your site. Invest in good hosting websites such as 1&1 and WordPress. The golden rule is to test your website, including external and internal hyperlinks, on a very regular basis.

External links to other sites may be taken offline or have migrated to a different domain name and you need to be aware of this change. Nothing is worse for a visitor than getting a 404 page.

The same goes for checking your site can handle all types of screen sizes (commonly referred to as “responsive web design”) and speeds of Internet connections. The easiest way to do this is to get your friends to check it, and tell you their screen size and how well it works.

Simple but Consistent

Achieving a clear and intuitive design can be the difference between dissatisfied customers versus clarity and positive experience. It is your job to make sure visitors are able to navigate your site in the way they require with ease and speed.

Focus on the important aspects of your business, do some research into well designed sites, and mimic their navigation bar if applicable. Sticking to what people know and expect from a site is the best way to provide consistency and familiarity with the rest of the web world.

Imagine your website as a hand, guiding and pointing visitors in the direction that they wish to go. You wouldn’t expect them to walk around your business on their own – show them around! In a similar fashion, ask for feedback on the site and its functionality, much like you would after performing in an interview setting. The process of giving and receiving information should provide you with a fresh perspective to look at your design from.

It is therefore of significant importance that you create web design that can be scanned with ease. Usability tests show that the majority of users don’t read web pages, they scan them. Use titles, horizontal line page splitters, bold text, emphasised text and lists.

Do you have any further tips on how to get the best from your website? Leave a comment below!

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Emily Jarvis is a writer, academic and experienced computer expert eager to get people making their own web content. She recommends Greensplash.