Exploring Usability in Effective Web Design
No, websites do not work by the principle, “If you build it, they will come.” With the many websites one can visit and explore, or usability, will prove to be one of the important factors in a website’s success. SLC web design principles dictate that the basis for the design would be the preferences and needs of the intended audience.
Here are some quality areas that encompass user-centered Utah web design with regards to usability:
Availability. First and foremost, the website should be available to anyone who wants to open it at any time. This means that the website should load whenever its web address is called up. There should be no dead or broken links or bugs in the pages and forms. Downtimes, ideally, are placed at a minimum. One way to achieve this is to work with a reputable website hosting company.
Accessibility. The website should load not just for desktop screens but also for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ideally, there should be a simplified version of the website that is made available for mobile devices. This version should feature quick loading time (even when the internet connection is slow), simpler website navigation and a clutter-free interface.
User-friendliness. People go to your website with a specific purpose in mind – to be informed or entertained, to conduct a transaction, to make a purchase. It is vital to funnel them into the page that fulfills their purpose, with the minimum number of steps and fuss . Otherwise, potential customers may leave the website. Chances are, they will not come back. The website should be easy to navigate, with no complications. It should also provide interactive feedback to indicate that they are on the right track towards their ultimate goal in visiting your website. Eliminate possible elements that may sidetrack the user and make him forget why he visited the website in the first place.
Learnability. Visiting your website should not take a rocket scientist. Avoid experiences that are confusingly new, rather offer ones that are similar to what the target audience already knows. Or, if it is something new, it should be intuitive. The interface should be easy to figure out, with virtually no need for instructions. If instructions are necessary, these must make use of visual instructions and examples.
Aesthetics. Usability also translates into something that is easy, even enjoyable, to look at. An aesthetically-pleasing look and feel for your website provides users with a positive user experience. Great visuals and overall look gets the user’s creative juices flowing – making learnability a more natural process.
Trustworthiness. No matter how well-planned and creative the content, it must be something the users can trust. If the website is considered the company’s virtual showroom, one look at the homepage and succeeding pages should tell the user that it is a company they can trust. Grammar or spelling mistakes can be jarring and distracting. They can be taken as indicators of your trustworthiness (or lack thereof) as a company. In addition, the website should feel “personal” – that it is backed by real people (company officers, employers and customers included). Have an “About Us” page that lets the customer know the company better. Include a testimonial page to illustrate that other customers have used and enjoyed what you had to offer. Add an expert blog that provides articles and infographics that show that the company is comprised of experts in the field.