Have you ever landed on a website, eager to find out about something, or to make a purchase and you just got frustrated because you couldn’t find the information or the product? It may have been the content that wasn’t clear so you couldn’t make sense of what you were reading. Or the system kept crashing every time you were about to make the purchase and you had no clue what to do or how to solve the issue.
What you experienced was a website with bad usability. So how do you make sure that your users never feel like that when they visit your website? We’ve got a few tips for you. Read on to learn more about what good usability is and how to ensure your website always has good usability.
What is good usability?
Both web design and web development need to be focused on the user and their needs. Good usability means that your user’s goals, mental models and requirements are met. Your users will likely have an expectation of what they consider to be a well-designed website. At the forefront of those expectations is the ease of use. If your users find it difficult to navigate your website, they’ll bounce.
Other factors that can contribute to usability include how long a page takes to load. If your website takes a long time to load, your users can get frustrated. Statistics show that 53% of users will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. And that’s a lot of traffic you don’t want to miss out on.
Having good usability has its advantages. If your users are happy, they’re likely to give you what you need and convert. 67% of mobile users are more likely to make a purchase if they enjoy the user experience that your site has to offer.
So how do you stay on top of your website’s usability? Let’s take a look.
How to ensure you have good website usability
Websites need to be accessible to all of your users, including those with disabilities. Take a look at the design of your site. Is the presentation of content clean? Your content should have a clear hierarchy so that it can be easily read and shouldn’t be surrounded by any clutter that could distract the user.
You also need to cater to users on different devices. Make sure your site has a responsive design so that it still works well whether a user is looking at it from a desktop or a mobile.
Imagine thinking you’re on a site that offers amazing marketing and branding services and then you find a blog post that’s all about the best cat food for your bloated cat (sidenote: could never be us). You’d think you’re going a little crazy.
And you wouldn’t want to make your users go crazy. Make sure all the content on your site is relevant to them and their needs. This will give them a clear idea of why they need to visit your site and the value that your products and services will bring to their lives. According to Google, you could lose up to 61% of users if they’re unable to find what they’re looking for quickly.
Your users will likely get confused if each of your web pages looks different from one another because they’ll think that they’re on a different website and dealing with a different brand. That’s why it’s good to keep some consistency in your designs and overall brand.
Another reason to keep things consistent is that as humans, we learn through recognising patterns. Your users will intuitively know how to navigate your site if they can recognise similar patterns throughout their experience on your site. It will help them reach their goals faster and when you do introduce something new, they won’t be thrown off.
When a user encounters an issue, they need to be guided on what to do next. If there’s a way they can fix the problem themselves, for example refreshing the page, be clear that they can do that. Otherwise, your user will be left stranded and will probably abandon your site.
Giving them direct feedback on their actions can help relieve any worry they might have. You should also let them know when things go well. For example, if they sent an enquiry, let them know that their enquiry was sent successfully by displaying a success screen.
No one wants to make a purchase from a website that they don’t trust. To make sure that your users trust you, include an About Us section on your site so that they can get a clear idea of who the company is and what its values are. Your contact details, and an address if possible, should also be cearly visible so that they know you are in fact real.
Including testimonials and reviews from other customers can encourage more loyalty. You should also make sure that your content is up to scratch. There shouldn’t be any grammatical or spelling errors and you should offer your users high-quality information. This will cement your standing as an expert in your field and they’ll want to come to you whenever they’re seeking information.
Test, test, and keep testing
It’s important that your website has good usability. To make sure that it’s always up to snuff, keep conducting usability tests. For example, you could do user interviews or observations to see where users are struggling on your website. This will give you an idea of which areas need improvement so when your users have their credit cards in their hands, nothing stops them from making a purchase and coming back to support your business again and again.