Improving the website’s usability will help your resource enter the top search and be in demand. It would help if you made sure that the users understand your website design and rely on it to find the necessary information on the resource pages or commit any other action smoothly and easily.
Key principles of good site usability
Your user should be able to easily find the necessary information without getting lost in the website functionality and numerous pages, and at the same time get aesthetic pleasure from that interaction. And here’s why:
The users will return to the website only if they enjoy working with it. That is why the resource should be convenient and understandable from all viewpoints: text, graphics, navigation, interface, logic, etc. Thanks to the abundance of choice, modern consumers do not have to figure out the intricacies of working with the website for a long time: if it’s difficult here – they will move on to competitors who have it clearer and simpler, so they get the traffic your website won’t.
Properly thought-out navigation will push the user to perform the target action: make a call, download the price list, order a product, use the service, etc. It is important to correctly build a narrative and structure to achieve a great conversion rate.
The basic requirements
You need to create a project that will be user-oriented. For this, pay attention to the key usability requirements:
Design is the key to website credibility. Do not overload the visual part with a lot of details, colors, and dynamic elements. Nothing should distract the user from the perception of the key information.
Logically structured content is king. One of the main usability factors is the comfortable perception of texts. Structure, design, information content, logical breakdown, optimization, and absence of errors – all these parameters are important to consider when you create content.
Visitors tend to browse the web pages in an F-pattern: maximum attention is concentrated in the upper left corner and limited to the first few paragraphs of text in descending order. Therefore, when distributing important data, the use of such a scheme will increase the likelihood that the visitor will quickly find the necessary data; see the most important, briefly skimming through the section with a glance.
This applies to menu items, the name, and type of buttons, their location, etc. Stick to common sense names. Imagine a reshuffle in your favorite supermarket: after a year of daily shopping, you suddenly notice that management has decided to swap departments, products, and redesign and renamed all the buttons so that you can even understand anything.
The more fields to fill in, the less time the user wants to spend on this. Moreover, the layout of fields, inscriptions, and the selection of fonts can be ideal, but the length is annoying.
Modern usability fundamentals force web developers to cut the length of these forms to a minimum, mercilessly throwing out stupid questions about education, income level, profession, and so on.
Website Navigation: Tips, examples, and best practices
Navigation features play a huge role in website usability. The convenience of surfing the web resource is provided by navigation elements in:
- horizontal header menu,
- vertical sidebar menu.
For a simple structure, only a horizontal menu can be used, for a more complex structure, horizontal and vertical menus can be used. In most cases, it makes sense to duplicate the navigation menu in the footer to prevent the need for scrolling. For large projects with a complex structure, it is recommended to create a sitemap. Some tips for improving website usability will be as follows:
Improve search tools
To speed up the search for information these may be used:
- search line;
The goal of the audience is to quickly find the information they are looking for.
The search bar helps to find material by words and expressions, filtering filters out unnecessary material, allowing you to customize the search, and tags are an additional opportunity to find material on certain topics.
The more complex the project structure, the more important it is to use different search mechanisms. These elements should visually stand out against the general background.
Get rid of errors
Pay attention to the structure errors. It is possible to detect errors when specifying links and transitions using buttons during the testing of the site, which must be carried out in accordance with the frequency of updating the resource. Links and navigation buttons to non-existent pages are implied.
It is recommended to abandon the standard design of the 404 error page in favor of the original design in the context of the site.
Unjustified expectations of the user in obtaining the necessary information when clicking on the specified link may greatly spoil the image of the website, and contribute to the outflow of visitors.
Correct header design
The audience pays special attention to this block. In some cases, the visitor studies only it without further scrolling through the site. This means that in the header you need to specify the key information, including the navigation menu, communication methods, and other significant data which are also crucial elements of the usability of a website.
Steps for proper usability testing
Website usability is a combination of various factors that affect the convenience of resource users. The comfort of the audience should come first when developing the interface, and internal and external structure of the site. You may test your website usability in 5 easy steps. The 5-step process for usability testing will include:
Step 1: Planning
Plan the session. Planning the details of the website usability session is, in some ways, the most crucial part of the entire testing process as it will give results if made precise.
Step 2: Picking participants
Recruiting participants will be the next step as you just need to find the right users for the testing.
Step 3: Tasking
Designing the tasks that will reflect what should be tested and the algorithm of actions for achieving that will be the next step. Try to be precise with your tasks. If the visitor cannot quickly understand the design of the project, the location of the elements, and the search for the necessary information, then the probability of performing the target action is dramatically reduced.
Step 4: Testing
Finally, running the session as per the requirements or tasks set and gathering the results for analysis occur here. There are many websites on any subject, so it will be easier to find a resource where information is presented in the most possible convenient and understandable way.
Step 5: Analysing
Analyzing the insights will be the end phase of user testing. Conduct your website usability test with the help of usability testing tools or similar.
Of course, it is not necessary to conduct a usability test every day, but there are a number of reasons why this is really necessary:
- determine the reason why the site has a low conversion;
- test several interface options and determine which one is more effective;
- fix existing bugs, etc.
How to interpret and use click maps to improve your site’s UX
Website usability analysis with the help of tracking tools like Creabl will also provide you with a deeper insight into your users’ experience with the help of click maps and session recording tools, etc.
Click maps provide basic information about user interactions with a site. Reports on them will answer the questions:
- Where on the page are individual users clicking?
- Where do users click the most?
- How can UI changes affect the number of clicks?
This information will help you improve the website’s UX/UI design and add new features to the interface. But in order to know what and how to improve, you need to properly analyze your maps: understand how to interpret what you see on them via reports. With these reports, you can evaluate people’s behavior from different perspectives and learn a few key insights to improve your usability.
What is a usability audit?
A usability audit is a check of the site for the convenience of working with it. The analysis usually identifies and describes problems in navigation, page and element design, text and visual content, as well as the functionality of the resource or the development of user paths.
What are the most common website usability mistakes?
As per the website usability checklist, the following may be found as mistakes and should be avoided. They include not only errors in the code, but also:
- duplicate pages and meta tags;
- lack of human-understandable URLs;
- junk pages in the index of search engines;
- pages with a 404 code and a large number of redirects;
- Incorrect configuration of the robots. txt etc.
How does website usability affect conversion rates?
It affects the conversion rates directly. In order to increase the conversion of the site, you need to use the methods to return visitors to the website and make their interaction easy; think over and restructure content; improve site navigation; use interactive elements (buttons, widgets), and so on.