Before talking about the 10 tips about how to improve web usability of our site, we’ll make a summary of the concept, without forgetting to mention the one considered to be the father of usability, Jakob Nielsen:
Well. “Usability” basically refers to the easiness with which an average user can browse and find what he seeks in a web interface. The less steps it takes and lesser the time they must stake in, the better usability it’ll have.
Nowadays, one can’t forget the importance of web usability, even more within this age of smartphones and the digital world, and with the always-evolving user habits.
When we think of developing any project for the “site” or “mobile” we must take into account several aspects to have an efficient usability:
Quality design which contributes to trusting
An elegant and graphic site, attractive logotype, easy content structuring and use of a coherent color palette allows a design to be nice, plus giving confidence to the clients and visitors.
Web use and accessibility standards:
It’s important to shape the project respecting the standards of accessibility and web usability valid nowadays. This doesn’t just benefit our visitors which find a faster and lighter site, but also grants a lot of points when it comes to search engine positioning, plus it’s easier to make any modification within the pages.
Call to action buttons
It’s recommended to use warm colors like orange, red or scarlet. Those colors incite to action and there are studies which associate them to compulsive buying. Apart from the colors it’s important to check that the call to action message is very clear and simplistic.
Standard colors for links
The link colors must be appreciated and told apart from the other contents. Using the standard blue color for links is a good idea, given how the users relate any text painted in that color as a link. If, say, we used the same format and coloring of links to highlight simple text, those could make the users feel confused.
Internal and external links
A reference web must mention, within their contents, their related pages, since that makes it easier to browse through the inner sections. It’s also important to mention authority sites which have relevance and bring useful info to our users.
Lesser click number
That means not having to do too many clicks to access all sections and their respective contents. A user which usually comes into a site to find info and has to do over 3 or 4 clicks will probably get fed up and go back, frustrated.
Browsing menu: “Quality above quantity”
In most cases, it’s suggested to present a site with a reasonable browsing menu, before having hundreds of main menus, sub-menus and sub-sub-menus, which will make our visitors get disoriented. In short: it’s better to make a quality menu (with the relevant and important info) before an endless menu.
Optimum loading time and weight
The loading weight and time of site are very important, both for the user’s experience and to have a better positioning in search engines. A site some years old with hundreds of pages and images can be complicated and very hard to resolve, because it’s mainly plagued by technical problems. Thus you should be careful to tackle those details at the very start of any project.
“Scrolling” in usability
Users and technology have evolved the way to browse, both in computers and mobile devices, it’s useful to have the introduction and more relevant info of our project in one screen, without needing to scroll downwards.
Compatibility between different browsers and devices
It’s must for our site to be compatible with different browsers and the different screen resolution in computers and mobile devices to better usability and accessibility. The number of users browning through mobiles is on the rise, so using HTML5 is the best choice to make responsive web design.