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11 tips for improving website usability

January 4, 2018

11 tips for improving website usability

This post is also available in : Spanish

Website usability. Find out 11 simple tips on how to improve it

Okay, so you have a website and you want to make it work. You business might even depend on it. However, when your visitors go to your website, they just browse through it for just a few seconds and then they leave your website. Maybe, you know, that flickering, annoying wallpaper on your website might have something to do with it. What do you think? It’s very likely…

When people visit a website, and especially if they are trying to purchase something or if they are interested in a service, what you need is a simple, fast and operating website. You have to keep in mind that the online-offer is almost infinite today, so your visitors might quickly go to your competitors as soon as they realize that they will not find on your website what they are looking for.

In this article we will go through 11 ideas on how to improve your website usability. And please remove that annoying wallpaper, now!

– Simplicity and familiarity.

For most people, the use of the Internet is already a common habit. And as human beings, when we click on a website we hope to find a structure that is similar to other websites, otherwise we run away. Is that what you want for your visitors? Don’t get me wrong, you can be original, but do not go too far with it. Take a look at some popular websites in your sector and create a simple structure so that your website is familiar to them and yes, this is a great way to improve your website usability. So, remember, make your visitors feel like home.

– Be very careful with the loading time of your website.

It is one of the most important factors. On the Internet, people have very little patience, to the point that some studies claim that 50% of visitors will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

There are many factors that can influence the loading time, so we would actually need another article just to talk about these, but we are not going to do that, just make sure that you limit the use of large images and/or animations, and include only what is necessary on the main page.

-Be careful with legibility.

Nobody wants to have to use reading glasses due to your website. Use the right colours –both for the font and the background- and use a size and font to allow good readability. Classic bad readability could be something like white letters on a black background –a combination that is especially tacky and annoying- so bear in mind this example as this is something that you should not do.

-Gather all the important information in the most visible area.

Have you ever been browsing on a website in which you have to scroll down to get to the information you are looking for? It’s not a good idea.

The important information must be quite visible so that it is easier for the visitor to find it. Don’t forget to use sidebars.

– Enable a link to return to the main page.

This is usually expected to be on the left side on top of the page, and it is often in the form of a logo or title of the page. It is not very hard to do it, and it makes it easier for your visitors to return to the main page.

-Use menus.

And be clever when using them. Menus that are too long can be annoying, as well as those incomplete ones, so you should think properly how to set up that menu. Remember that menus are the main element to direct the traffic of your website, and visitors should be able to quickly spot the menus and they should be able to easily access the menu at any time.

-Make sure to put links in the text.

It is something that is instinctively expected when browsing a website. Keep in mind that people do not usually pay a lot of attention to the text, so if you do not clearly indicate those links, by underlining these or changing the colour, they will go unnoticed and that will not improve your website usability. You do not have to massively increase the font size or use a bright orange colour, but you need to make sure to let your visitors know that a word or group of words will lead them to a different place (or if they don’t click on that link, at least they need to be able to guess where that link will take them). In addition to this, be consistent with the way you indicate those links; because the visitor will quickly get used to knowing where these are and your website will be more coherent.

-Use internal links.

Once you know how to clearly and nicely indicate those links, use them!

The best way to improve your website usability is by using internal links. But make sure to use them properly – these links need to take your visitors where they want to go – but make sure you don’t overuse them.

-Be careful with external links.

If you use links to websites that are not yours, remember that the new link should be opened in a new window or tab. Otherwise, you will be kicking out your visitors from your own page and remember that it is very likely that your visitors will not come back…

-Use a site map and a search bar.

These are tools that are specially designed to facilitate web browsing. If your website has a certain plug-in, make sure to use this so that it’s easier for the visitors to find what they are looking for.

-Watch out for mobile phone internet access.

Nowadays, a large part of the web traffic is done through the mobile phone. That’s why you need to consider your website usability on phones, because it may have important flaws. Get down to work and make sure that everything works properly.

These are 11 tips on how to improve your website usability, but we are pretty sure that you know some more. You can share these with us in the comment section which is located at the end of this article.

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