Usability is one of the key terms that are widely used in web design. In many respects, it is the most important and vital aspect of any web design.
Why Usability is so important?
It’s a very normal tendency that if an online web surfer visit your website but find it difficult to use then he or she may leave and never become customers. In fact, it’s very important to understand that web design must give its visitors freedom and choice to surf it properly. A good web design is not just about a website looking cool and flamboyant. It has more got to do with its role i.e. the website must be able communicate its goal with as little effort as possible on the part of the user. Moreover, if the site has well-built usability, more online surfers will notice because they won't be wasting time trying to figure out how the site works.
Looking on the other side, a bad or poor design may cause visitors to do any of the following things again and again, like-
Clicking on back button and keep waiting for a long download.
Wasting time in making a guess as to where, and what, the navigation is all about.
As a result, to make your website more visible you must involve potential customers in its design.
Factors or Steps to Increase your Website Usability
Nowadays every big and small business owners or web development firms and web designers are focusing on different ways to make their site more usable. Usability has turned out to be the important factor in web designing because as long as it remains missing, the site can confuse the online web surfer. Besides this, it may further detract from whatever the main message, product or service, you want to convey through website.
Here are few important points that can help you go a long way to provide or develop a more user-friendly site:
Alignment and Spacing- Alignment and spacing in web site design are important factors. It helps in creating a proper order, organizing the page and groups parts of the website for easy navigation. A proper alignment and spacing of text and image keep visitor stick to your website and read content. You can easily use the guidelines in Photoshop to ensure that all your elements are aligned which can be done by dragging ‘rulers’ from your rulers tab.
Including a Tagline- In terms of web designing, a tagline is a statement that represents a company’s, philosophy and mission. It is the most obvious element on a website’s front page and must clearly depict the website purpose in one phrase. As per recent statistics, it has been found that a website has just few seconds to confine an online visitor’s attention. A website without any clear tagline might find it hard to keep its visitors’ attention long enough to further browse the inner pages.
Title Every Webpage- Giving title to every web page can be very beneficial. This small procedure actually ensures your visitors don't get lost on your website. In simple words, if you title every web page – you directly help your visitor know what page they are currently viewing.
Avoid Using Extensive Graphics- It’s very important to understand that too much use of design elements and graphics are always bad for a website. They actually mislead visitors’ attention. Thus make sure, you only design to improve the web page not just to decorate it. From a web usability and navigation point of view, simple and less is always more powerful.
Graphical Navigation- Try to include a text version of graphical navigation items. When graphics are links, try to make it easier by including meaningful alt text for graphical links. If you use an icon next to a text link, make sure both items are clickable. Be very cautious about using image maps as navigation because visitors often lose track of where they are and where they have been.
Avoid Designing Graphic Elements like a Button- Most of the time visitor see text that is underlined and looks like links, but are not clickable. By not having any action that the online web surfer expects actually hampers their interest in website. As a result, they would think that the site is broken and eventually leave.
Choose Background, Image Color and Text Color very carefully- You must require taking this point into serious consideration very seriously. You must understand that if your color scheme of web design is unappetizing, visitors may leave even if your subject matter content is very good. For optimum usability, make sure you always check the color balance, sharpness and contrast of each image. Besides this, also make certain that web page text color balances with the rest of the page and other images.
Stick to Standards of Hyperlinks- Try to make the visited link a duller, less saturated color than unvisited so that the links the visitor hasn't visited or clicked yet stand out more. Make it easy for your visitors and it won't mess up your web design.
Always Include a Sitemap- Including a site map webpage and registering a sitemap XML document in search engines can further increase your web design usability. Though the concept of site maps are a relatively new website feature but it widely improves web page navigation. It is a structural representation of a website’s pages and architecture. It can be a document in any form, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.
technique, web designers and developers can develop responsive and more
transparent websites. However, the major drawback of this tool is browser
inconsistency. Every online user visiting your website might not have an
Today website usability is all about reducing and reorganizing the complexity into small and manageable web navigation process where web designing plays an important part. Ensuring readability and taking care of the above checking points will actually help you move in the right direction of designing user-friendly websites. The bottom-line is - Making your website more usable is the simply best credit that you can achieve from your visitors.