How to Improve Your Website's Usability and Navigability
Posted on 22nd May 2019
There are indeed various factors which distinguish a successful website from one that’s, well, not-so-successful. For instance, success in website design depends greatly on the usability of your website.
If you don’t want your site to be relegated to the rubbish heap of the internet, then its usability will definitely count for a lot. User-centric website design is a standard nowadays, with tons of websites competing for user attention, and if your focus for your site is to make a profit, then you surely need it.
Think of it like this – if your website users aren't able to understand or use a particular feature, then you might as well not have it. So, are you concerned about your website's usability and navigability? Here's how you can improve it:
The importance of usability
The importance of usability cannot be ignored, as we will contest to as a good web designer in Bristol. But what does the term really mean?
Fundamentally speaking, usability refers to how easy it is to use a website, and it also applies to the various methods employed by designers to make it easier and more convenient to use.
For instance, if your website isn't clear on what you do and what users can do whilst on your site, then your users may very well leave. If the information on your site isn’t easy to figure out or doesn’t answer their questions, then they will most certainly leave. But it’s important to know that you can do something about it.
What you can do to improve your site’s usability and navigability
Follow the right pattern
The first step is to follow the right pattern – and, in most cases, the ‘F’ pattern is ideal.
Individuals tend to scan pages following an ‘F’ pattern, where they start by looking at or reading the top portion, move down, and then scan the page following the ‘F’ shape. Remember that users want a website to be efficient, so this means presenting them with the information they need right away.
So even if you have the best products or the best service, if your website isn’t optimal (meaning it has too much text or doesn’t have a clear path for users), then users will find the information they need somewhere else.
Make sure you have efficient content
Efficiency is not just about your website pattern, it's also about your content. Your main aim is to provide relevant information as soon as possible and encourage your users to take action. Users, on average, will read only about 28% of a page, after all.
You can still make use of text, of course, but keep it short and sweet. Be organised with your text and write about your company, what you do, what your story is, and what makes you unique.
Here's another tip: avoid the ‘welcome to our website' phrase, as most users will just ignore it and it may even have a negative impact on how professional you look.
The smallest details count
Even the littlest details can have a great impact. For instance, if you have an ecommerce website, do you require your users to register first before they can make a purchase? If you're worried that you are not getting enough sales, this may be the problem.
Not many users want to register first before they can buy something. Many people don’t like that extra, effortful step, and most are suspicious if they have to register as they think of it as a marketing ploy. What you can do instead is give your users the option or choice to register, but don’t make it a requirement.
There are other things you can do to improve your website's usability and navigability. Whitespace is good, as this simplicity in design can help your users focus on more essential details.
You should also pay attention to the home page – whilst it's a relevant page, try not to fill it to the brim with information. Chances are, users will go directly to another page (the product page, for example) anyway, and may not even check your home page if they like what you have on your other pages.
Now apply this to your website...
Now it's your turn to make your website more usable and navigable in order to increase the return it provides.
If you are struggling to update your website, get in touch with the team at it’seeze Web Design Bristol and find out how we can help. You might also want to look at our website design portfolio to see the websites we've created for other local businesses in Bristol for inspiration.
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