Usability is a term that entails the accessibility, clarity, credibility, simplicity, and relevancy of a website for users. Good usability ensures a seamless experience, improves conversions and rankings, and establishes customer loyalty.
In this article, we’ll uncover the importance of key principles and review іsome great examples. We’ll also discuss website usability testing and tips to improve the usability of your website.
Why is website usability important?
Webmasters and developers do their best to create user-friendly, easy to navigate, and modern sites. Since a website is one of the main mediums for communication with customers for many software companies, it should be perfect and comply with customers’ requirements. Businesses build their online presence to reach prospects and customers and attain their goals. The judgment of a business is often shaped by the accessibility, relevance, convenience, simplicity, and credibility of a website.
By creating sites with good usability, you enable users to convert faster. If you want users to buy from your company, subscribe to your email newsletter, or contact support, provide them with a seamless experience. To obtain higher conversion rates, businesses avoid complicated forms and long checkout processes, ensure that links work properly and website load time is fast.
Satisfied clients stay loyal to a brand and don’t go to competitors. If users feel comfortable using your website, they will stay with your company. Website usability significantly affects SEO. It entails not only customer satisfaction but the ability of users to easily explore and find necessary content on a site. Google tracks websites that are useful and considers them in shaping the ranking. Besides, some websites experience high bounce rates because of low usability.
Now that you know why website usability is important, let’s delve into its main elements.
Key Principles of Site Usability
If you strive to see your company prosper, you need to have good usability. Below we’ll review the aspects you need to consider when developing a user-friendly website.
- Accessibility. Availability and accessibility are very important since they let leads and existing customers explore your product. To avoid dissatisfaction among users, ensure that your customers won’t get errors when loading your site. For this, find good hosting. Check your website for broken links and remove them if you have some. Since the number of mobile internet users now amounts to 4.28 billion, there’s a point in applying responsive website design. It will help make your site convenient for usage even on devices with small screens.
- Clarity. Users who come with a certain goal to your website and can’t find the necessary information may never visit it again. That’s why you should help them achieve their goal. To let customers reach their objectives, provide them with a consistent experience, guide them across your website, focus on the most important information, implement the things people are already familiar with, and structure your content.
- Simplicity. To simplify the usage of your website, design a user-friendly interface that people can handle without instructions. Leverage design concepts people know or are easy to manage. Make use of these popular approaches consistently to meet customers’ needs as soon as possible.
- Familiarity. Even if you have quality content, people won’t trust a company without a good reputation. So, it’s pivotal to provide users with information about your business to establish credibility and brand awareness. Create a good “About Us” page where you can tell about your company’s mission, vision, and goals. Make sure to include contact information and address. You should create informative quality content people can trust. Double-check your articles and other content for spelling and grammar.
- Relevancy. One more principle of good usability is relevancy. The content your company presents should solve users’ problems. That’s why make sure you know your buyer personas, their wants, needs, interests, and problems to address them and provide solutions. Once you know their goals, develop scenarios in which customers will come to your website for help. Make use of them when creating content.
It’s time to jump into website usability testing.
Website Usability Testing
Website usability testing is used to gauge a website by obtaining feedback from users after they visit a certain site. Companies that leverage the test create a list of tasks and scenarios a person needs to perform when visiting a specific site. There’s also a person who monitors the actions and performance of a website in different situations. As a result, business owners can instantly see the strengths and weaknesses of their websites and find out what areas require improvement.
Usability testing can be divided into three key methods:
- explorative (it’s used at the early product development stage to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of a preliminary design or prototype);
- assessment (it’s used to evaluate technology and includes real-time trials to assess satisfaction, effectiveness, and usability);
- comparative (it involves comparing two different solutions, defining their weaknesses and strengths, and asking users which one they prefer).
You are acquainted with the methods, so we need to proceed to the next section to explore great ideas that will help you improve usability.
7 Tips to Improve Website Usability
- Increase website speed
- Be consistent with your website design
- Come up with a mobile version
- Leverage simple navigation layout
- Arrange your content based on generally accepted rules
- Ensure that your main features and benefits are visible
- Use images wisely
To make your business successful, you need to come up with a simple, convenient, and useful website. Explore our 7 tips below to improve usability and attract more customers.
- Be consistent with your website design. Once you finish with the website speed, check if you are consistent in your layout, font, and color scheme to make a user feel more familiar and recognize your brand. Make sure to have the same layout across all pages, similar colors and fonts not to confuse customers.
- Come up with a mobile version. Now when the number of smartphone users worldwide has reached 3.8 billion, a responsive website is a must-have for every business. Since the majority of people browse the internet from smartphones and tablets, you need to ensure a seamless experience visiting your website: good speed, clear navigation, and easy-to-find CTAs. Also, don’t forget to use the same font and colors you have in your desktop version.
- Leverage simple navigation layout. If you don’t want users to abandon your website without even exploring it, find a good, clear, and familiar navigation layout. Keep in mind that many customers have already got used to certain layouts, so you better use something simple, standard, and familiar to everyone. Your main goal here is to make visitors feel comfortable. That’s why consider leveraging a simple navigation bar at the top of the website that contains links to main pages.
- Arrange your content based on generally accepted rules. It’s critical to have good content in terms of customer satisfaction and SEO. So, create your content based on the accepted rules and SEO guidelines. Use clear, short, and sweet headings and subheadings to break the content into logical parts and make it look better for users, and let them perceive information easily.
- Ensure that your main features and benefits are visible. To let customers instantly gather information about your company, product, features, and benefits, create a section with this data and make it visible. You can use icons for features to attract customers’ attention.
- Use images wisely. Of course, visuals play a great role in demonstrating your product and the benefits it provides but don’t overdo it. Bear in mind, images influence your website speed. You need to have everything in moderation: images will help you break up the text, hold the attention and interest of readers.
You already know some great tips to improve website usability, so it’s time to see several examples.
Examples of Good Website Usability
To improve usability, it’s not enough to increase the speed of website loading. This process needs improvements in layout, navigation, design, content, visuals, and more. So now we’ll unveil how different companies managed to achieve it.
Let’s take Master Class, for example. The company that offers classes in different disciplines enables users to easily access and load the website fast. It’s consistent in using font, color scheme, and layout across all web pages. Master Class also has a visible and clear CTA button and all important information for newcomers.
Mobile users can explore the company’s services from their smartphones or tablets as well.
You can’t ignore the simplicity of Apple's website and the way it focuses on the key benefits and features of its products. It contains a lot of white space and makes a site look very stylish and minimalistic. The classical navigation menu allows customers to feel familiar and comfortable when they decide to explore the company’s products.
The company’s website has a standard navigation menu, similar font, color scheme, and layout across website pages, consistent content to make people recognize the brand and easily navigate its website. Pantene also provides a convenient mobile version.
Congrats, now you know the importance and main elements of usability. Grab inspiration from our tips and examples to develop a user-friendly and relevant site.
- This article defines the term and uncovers the importance and mistakes of usability.
- In this article, you’ll find ways to improve website usability.
- This article provides readers with a guide to usability testing.
Last Updated: 06.12.2021