The term usability comes as a very scary one for people who own and operate a website. Although it is a small word but it carries a very large meaning. Talking about this term in relation to a website, a whole industry has been named after it which is called ‘User Experience’ (UX). This is formed around the idea of improving the user experience on the website and allowing them to better interact and consume the content available on the website. If you have made your website in such a way that it is easy for them to search through and check your website then it is most likely that they will stay on your website, browse through and add to your traffic. So you how much of a big impact this simple word can make on your website.
Making your website more hospitable for new and old visitors is important because users of Internet has a very short attention span and are very impatient. So if your website is a complicated one, they are most likely to lose interest in the content or what your site has to offer. Therefore, to survive in the vicious and ever-thriving world of internet, one has to make his website user-friendly and easily accessible by all kinds of users – in short, enhance its usability.
In light of all this, our article today discusses the implications of this word on different features of a website – some higher level concepts that revolve around UX. At the same time, I have also provided you with some practical tips on improving the usability of your website so you can make the best out of it.
Try Out Different Browsers:
When you are designing your website, you have to keep in mind that many different types of your users might be using the so many different types of browsers. And as the working of all of them is quite different from each other, you have to make sure that your website is compatible with all of them or at least the most popular ones of them, is working smoothlyand is not looking out of place. If you find any discrepancy, make appropriate changes.
Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera are the most commonly used browsers. Check your website on all of these and also on mobile devices like Apple and Android to make sure that your site translates well on all of them. While working on it, you may notice that some elements are harder to load on mobile devices so in that case you will have to make a mobile version of your site as using internet on such devices is getting extremely popular.
A Fixed Color Scheme:
Stick to one color scheme – it not only looks attractive but also helps to give an identity to your brand which furthers in supporting it. Talking about a consistent color scheme, choose 2-4 colors and use them for every page as it gives a professional feel to it and does not make your website look too scattered. The color scheme that you use represents your business so make sure that you choose it wisely. CSS is a great help in this regard as it makes it easy to brand your site quickly.
Keep the Size of the Images Consistent:
Continuing with the last point of making the website look more professional, that also applies to the images that you use. Think of the look that your website will give if your images vary in size, surely not a good one. To make your website more sensible, you have to use image sizes that are consistent. As for the thumbnails as well, use the same size for them as well. Whether it’s the product pictures of extra images, all should have the same size. There are also some exceptions to this, like the size of header pictures and images in the sidebar can vary in size but stick to the rule of consistency wherever you can.
Minimal Use of Fonts:
If you use a lot of fonts, your website will look cluttered and unprofessional. Choose two or three font styles and use them for every page. As an example, titles/headings should have the same font while all the text should have the same. Consistency is the key to make a website successful and to make it easy for the user to decide what information is important on which page.
Our basic aim is to make it easy for the user to browse through your website. Following that, you have to create an easy navigation for the user and stick to the standard navigation elements which include features like ‘home, ‘about us’, and ‘contact’ etc. as the navigation bar at the top of the page is where a user gets guidance to browse through the site, it should be easy on the eyes and should let him find his required content quickly. Adding a search feature is a must as users mostly look for specific service or product.
Fluid Layout for all Screen Sizes:
Modern technology has brought so many devices on which one can use internet and browse. Mobile devices, laptops, desktop monitors and tablet PCs all have different screen sizes. So you should use a fluid layout for your website so that it adjusts to every screen size may it be large or small. Fixed layouts are simple inconvenient and holds the potential to turn a customer away because he is not having a perfect view. Keeping in view how users use different screen sizes, it’s crucial that your site is adaptive for the user and he can easily see everything.
Provide Option for Feedback:
Feedback interaction is very important for the growth and development of your website as it is the feedback that lets you know what your users think about your site and how you can improve it to make their experience better. Provide options for comments, likes and dislikes as it lets the user feel important.
Now one thing that you need to keep in mind is that you have to make your feedback form easy for the user. If you have put complications in it, the user may simply think it too much of a hassle and would turn away without giving a comment. It may happen that a user has filled a form, has put a wrong email address by mistake and suddenly a message pops up that you have filled the form incorrectly without any explanation. That certainly can put him off. So take some time out to make it as easy for the user as possible.
To Wrap Up:
In the end, it all comes down to making the site easy for the user so that he may find his required content easily. Usability may be a small word but it can harm your site if the visitor does not seem welcomed there. Worse, he will never return. UX is a critical element of a website so make sure you take advice from a professional or better, hire someone to design your website according to the best standards so that your user is pleased to visit the site and does not find a reason to leave.