Usability is the process of making your website as simple and clear for the people who visit your site as possible. You want the user to stay on your site rather than navigating away to one of your competitors, and to do this, there are a few key points that you should look out for to create a user friendly website which I will be covering in this blog:
Your users have clicked onto your website with a goal in mind, whether that be to find information or purchase a product. You want to make sure this goal is easy to reach.
Information pages, such as About Us and FAQ’s, are a clear starting point to helping the user find out if your website is right for them by including some snappy content to make clear what it is that you are selling or promoting. If a user does not understand the purpose of the website from the offset then there is a chance that they will be browsing aimlessly, and they will not be taking the actions that you require to meet your goals.
Customers like ease of use, and because of this fact you want to make sure that the user has clear direction to get in touch with your business by including simple contact forms – anything too wordy with too many fields is sure to put off the customer. Keep it short and simple with fields like; name, email, phone number and what the message is regarding. Don’t take any more than you need, and don’t make users do any more work than necessary, this is one of the keys to a user-friendly website.
Is there anything worse when browsing a website than not knowing how you got to the page you’re on or why you’re there?
This is where the navigation comes into creating a user-friendly website. Having a clear navigation will help your users to keep track of where they need to be on your website. By making sure all your important pages are shown in the relevant places it will make your users experience smooth and productive. Try to ensure that you yourself are able to easily navigate your own website and find all the most important things that a user may need, be it contact details or a particular type of product/service, if you can’t find it easily then nor will your users.
A vital part of owning a website that is user-friendly is putting across your brand image, and a great way to do this is through your content. Having life and personality coming through your content will keep your users engaged and want to carry on reading through. Content is one of the most important factors of a good website, but writing for the sake of adding content to your website will not help you succeed. You need to be writing good quality content with a purpose for your target audience.
Proofreading your content multiple times is a great way to ensure no mistakes are made that could be published on your website that could have a negative effect on your user’s experience. A great way to double check your content is to ask colleagues or friends to read over it and give their opinion. A second opinion is always helpful when it comes to producing good content.
We also recommend that a minimum of 250 words are displayed on each page of your website to meet Google standards. This, however, does not mean you should aim for any particular amount of words. If you have good content that is helpful to your user, put it in, do not worry about writing too much, ask long as it is relevant and helpful for your users and target audience.
The speed of your site plays a huge part in having a user-friendly website. When someone is browsing your website, they expect instant responses from their clicks. When websites load slowly, the amount of users on the site decreases. With the way that technology has evolved, speed and ease of use are not desired anymore, they are expected. Due to this, if you are unable to give your users a speedy website, you are jeopardising your chance of converting them into customers.
This sounds like a scary prospect, however, there are many quick and easy things you can do to start to improve the speed of your website. Not only does having a speedy website help you to keep your users on your page, it also benefits your SEO. (read more about getting to grips with your page speed here).
How to test your site for usability
Taking all the points I have discussed above, it would be a good idea to test your site as a user, each time with different goals to carry out and see if any problems arise, this will help you understand whether you do have a user-friendly website. Getting friends, family and colleagues who aren’t familiar with the site to use the site is also a great way to get a fresh insight from the group who work on the website daily. This way there are more opinions to suggest room for improvement. Do not take user testing lightly, you should aim to be thorough and concise when testing your website, as it may seem like a tedious task, but it will lead you to solve site issues that may make the difference between converting or losing customers on your website.
Other than this, analytical data is a great way to see which of your pages are doing well compared to others. Therefore you take inspiration from these pages to ensure all pages on your site perform the best for your users. Be it the functionality or the design of your best-performing pages, it is always a good start to take positive points from your own work.
If you are unsure about the performance or the design of your website, and you believe that your website may not be user-friendly, then get in touch with us today and we will help you perfect your website in the eyes of a user.