If you take a look at your website, would it be one that you would be eager to navigate? Is the content easy to read through and the information easy to find? If you encountered any issues while browsing, would you be able to solve them? You must improve your website’s usability if you’ve answered no to any of these questions. Let’s take a closer look at how you can do this and the trends for the upcoming year.
What is website usability?
Usability is usually an element of design that can be easily forgotten but this could heavily affect your conversion rates. This is because usability refers to how effectively your customers can navigate and use your site, interacting and moving through each step of your sales funnel with ease. Designing a website with usability at the forefront will make the design more effective as it makes the site simple and increases clarity for users.
Having a website that looks good isn’t enough. Your users still need to be able to use the website without having to think too much about how it works. Website usability focuses on the user’s needs so that they can reach their goals with ease. Statistics show that one of the top reasons for users to leave a site is due to bad usability. In a web design survey, 61.5% of respondents said that they would leave a site if it has bad navigation.
To ensure that your users don’t leave your site, you should follow the principles of usability. The 5 principles of usability are:
You have a website for users to access and use. If it’s unavailable for some reason, you’ll end up frustrating your customers and potentially lose them. Invest in a good hosting platform so that your servers are never down and users can depend on your site being available to them at all times. You should also ensure that your site does not have any broken links and is mobile responsive so users can access it from any and all devices.
Usability is all about giving your users a seamless web experience. You need to make sure that your site offers them clarity, otherwise they’re most likely to abandon it. To do this, your website must focus on what’s important, stick to what your users want, need and know, be consistent, offer direct feedback, and have good information architecture so your content is easy to navigate.
Good usability is based on how well and efficiently your users can learn to navigate your site. Your goal should be to design a site with intuitive interfaces so when you create and introduce something new, it’s easy to learn for your users. Using patterns and recognition in your design concepts will help guide your users so that you don’t always have to give them a nudge to find what they’re looking for.
Anyone can create a website online so it’s important that your users trust that your website is legitimate. According to web design statistics, 75% of website credibility comes from the design so if your users are skeptical based on the design of your website, they’re likely to find your brand untrustworthy. You can also boost your credibility by posting content that is accurate and honest and demonstrates your expertise. Third-party testimonials will also help to increase trust and win over your customers because they’ll be able to see how real people found your products and services successful.
Users want to visit your site for information that pertains to them. This is why it’s key to understand who your customers are and what their goals, needs and preferences are. Knowing why they visit your site will help you guide them better throughout their user journey and get them to reach their goals more efficiently.
The information on your site should correspond well to your customers’ search queries. Not only does this make things easier for them, it also helps improve your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) relevance.
How to improve your website usability in 2023
- Improve the accessibility
You can improve your website’s accessibility by ensuring your content and pages have an effective visual hierarchy. To do this, take note of the following:
Color: Use color to draw attention to certain elements. If you have a lot of information, use color to break up the content into different sections.
Font size: A large font size draws attention and helps people read text from further away. Make sure that any important content is in a larger font than other text on the page so that it stands out more easily.
Line spacing: This refers to how much space there is between lines of text, which can affect how easy it is for users with visual impairments or dyslexia who may struggle with close-set lines of text without adequate spacing in between them
When improving accessibility you need to keep in mind whether your content is relevant or not to your target audience. This not only applies to your written content but visual content too. To maintain visual relevance, you should:
- Only use relevant images and videos.
- Make sure your images and videos are high quality.
- Images and videos should be relevant to your content.
- Keep them short and to the point, so that visitors don’t get bored or distracted from their main goal of reading through all of your text
- Images and videos should also be easy to understand without sound: a lot of people won’t have sound enabled on their devices, so make sure there’s enough visual information in the image or video for them to get an understanding of what it contains before they even hit play
- Make sure you’re consistent
When it comes to design, you have to make sure that your content is clear and easy to scan. That means using headings to break up text, not using too many images or links, and using a consistent style for links.
Here’s an example: imagine you’re trying to find out how much cash you need for a new car. If you go onto the Honda site (or any other car manufacturer’s site) and try reading through the giant paragraphs of text about every single model they sell, it’ll be pretty difficult! You need some structure in that paragraph – headings break it up so it’s easier for people who are skimming or scanning through it quickly. Headings also make sure that words appear at regular intervals on the page, which makes them easier on the eye.
Another way websites can help their users scan content more easily is by making sure all pages use consistent styles for headings and paragraphs; this makes it obvious where one section ends when another begins.
- Use clear Call-To-Actions (CTAs) on each page
A call-to-action is a button, link or other elements on your web page that encourages visitors to perform an action. A clear call-to-action lets site visitors know what you want them to do next and when they’ve done it, so make sure your CTA is:
- Easy to find
- Linked to a relevant page or section of the website (not just another generic landing page)
- In a prominent position on each page of your website
You should also use consistent CTAs throughout all pages of your website, using easy-to-read fonts in sizes that are big enough for people with poor eyesight.
- Improve your page loading speed
People are impatient. They hate waiting. If they have to wait, they’ll leave and never come back. Your website needs to load quickly or else you risk losing potential customers, who will look elsewhere for the same product or information that you provide.
Speed is important for your users because it affects their experience of using the site and their likelihood of returning in the future. Users should be able to access a page within 3 seconds on average, according to Google’s research into user behavior (PDF). This is an average across different types of devices—the time varies depending on what device people use and how slow their internet connection may be at times—but it provides a good benchmark for how fast pages should load.”
- Optimize for mobile devices
Users are likely to access your website from different devices so you don’t want to risk alienating any one of them and that’s why optimizing for mobile through using responsive designs is a must. Responsive design is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computers).
Responsive web design is not one specific technology but rather an approach that uses several different technologies. It’s also not just about the layout. Rather, it’s a philosophy that requires the web designer to think through how a website will work across multiple screen sizes before they even start designing it.
- Keep testing
User testing is one way to measure how usable a site or app is—it involves watching users interact with products while asking them questions about their thoughts or feelings as they go along (so you know what works, and what doesn’t).
If your website has a lot of information, include links and see if they help users find their way around the site and give them quick access to specific topics or resources they might be looking for when using the site. This makes the website easier for visitors because they don’t have to guess where certain things are located on a page just by looking at its layout—they can easily access everything they need without having any confusion about where it is located within the website structure itself.
Usability is the ease with which a user can achieve a goal with a product. It’s an extremely important metric for any digital product, including websites, mobile apps, and more. The easier it is to use and understand your website/app/product, the better chance that people will want to keep using it and get value out of it.
Your website needs to be easy to use and designed with the user in mind. Don’t make them jump through hoops to find what they’re looking for or to get where they need to go. It’s important to remember that usability is all about your users. It’s not about you, or your company. You need to put yourself in their shoes and make sure that you’re creating a site that they’ll enjoy using – and that they’ll come back to again and again.