If you are trying hard to grow your business, then it is not enough to only get a high volume of traffic on the website. It is also important to focus on how useful and easy the website is for users. Just think about the Samsung, its mobile phones and other products wouldn’t be as famous as they are today if they were not efficient and easy to use for people.
Website Usability is clearly all about “making the website as user friendly as possible”. If you want to establish a long term relationship with the users, it is important to keep the website user friendly. Here is the list of 20+ effectual and handful ways to improve the website usability.
1. Think like users
An easy and effective way to analyze the website usability is to be a user and ask some question from yourself:
• Is it attractive?
• Is it useful for me?
• Can I easily find all the required information here?
In short, if people are not finding anything easily on your website, they will never come back.
2. Keep the content simple and easily readable
The success of your website extremely depends on its content readability. Users generally read the content in a nonlinear fashion (just skim the entire web page thoroughly to find the required information) and if they find it typical to read or understand, they will immediately hit the back button.
Thus, write the user friendly and scannable content which can entice the users to stick with the website. Avert the longer sentences and paragraphs, use easy and common words and never fill the content with unnecessary information.
3. Make it responsive for all the devices
Not everyone is going to access the website from the desktop. Thus, make sure that your website is responsive for all the mobile devices. Test the website for various mobile devices, whether it is mobile friendly, if not then make it mobile friendly.
4. Be relevant to your website
Remember that the users always look for specific things or information and if they don’t find it in a couple of second on your website, they will quickly switch to another one. Therefore, the information you are providing on your website should be relevant and precise which can prompt the users to stay for a long time.
5. Focus on page layout
Organize the page layout in such a way that everything can be accessed easily at a first glance. Use same layout and navigational menu for all the web pages and make sure that navigation bar is appearing on all the pages. The optimal size for a page layout should be 1000-1600 pixel long and 770 pixels wide. Adjust the navigation bar, side bar, and other elements in proper place.
6. Use sub-headings to differentiate paragraphs
Users generally scan the whole web page in “F” pattern, means two horizontal stripes and one vertical strip. They swipe their eyes, two times from left to right and then skip the middle content and comes to the bottom of the page. Means they never read the content of whole web page.
But, if you want to make users go through the entire web page, then break the page in sub headings and subsections that can be easily scanned by them. It helps the users to reach at the exact section that they actually want in your website.
7. Place images
Images impact the user’s mind more than a text. If you are describing any product, then it would be worthless without having its image. Having a high quality and appealing image of product or services can highly differentiate you from your competitors in the market.
8. Use right color combination
Because, color combinations can substantially affect the website usability as well as user experience, therefore you need to spend some time on choosing a color for background and fonts. To select color combination, firstly read a little about them and then decide which color the users may like to prefer in your website.
9. Give Users what they need right away
Users never read the full website in detail, they just quickly scan it for what they need. They want to find everything without making the hard efforts and it just takes a fraction of a second to decide whether they can get the required information on your website or not. Therefore, organize all the tabs and links in such a way that the users can straightly find what they are exactly looking for.
10. Keep the links user friendly
Making the links user friendly can aid the readability of website for users. Highlight which links they already have visited by changing their color and use a title attribute to define the link more precisely.
11. Be interactive and engaging
For a blogger, engaging with his audience indicates how well the blog is performing. Replying to user’s comments and queries on a regular basis shows that you actually care about your readers.
12. Use proper text formatting
Break the information into discrete parts and properly use the text formatting options (bold, italic, etc) to give a distinct appearance to your website. Using text formatting tools to highlight the important parts of web page also can help to speed up the reading process.
13. Give sufficient spacing in content
The Margins between the paragraphs, spacing in characters, words and lines can intensely affect the reading speed of users. Therefor, evaluate all the web pages for spacing issues and modify them where needed.
14. Keep the navigation simple and easy
A poor navigation can cause the user to leave the website immediately. Thus, make the navigation easy and simple for all the mobile as well as desktop devices that can make them to find everything in just a few clicks.
15. Highlight required field in the form
If your website contains any kind of form, then highlight all the required fields so that the users can already know what information they may need to complete the form.
16. Clearly display the products and services in the right category
Clearly list all the products in right parent category and sub category. Provide a detailed information about products such as size, weight, price and other parameters depending on the product.
17. Security and privacy
If your website needs the credential information of users, then make sure it is secure. Display the security seals and give a brief summary of your privacy policies to assure the users that the website is secure.
18. Make sure your site is loading quickly
Online shoppers usually expect the web page to load in two seconds or less, and if it is taking three seconds or more, they will abandon to your competitors. Thus, make sure that your website has minimum loading time and if not, make it minimum.
19. Must include a search box
Even with the good navigation, there are users who can’t find exactly what they are looking for. Including a search box can allow the users to quickly access the content in a straightforward manner.
20. Provide a sitemap
Sitemap is a landmark of a good website containing all the links on a single web page. Providing sitemaps will allows the users to quickly reach at any link without going into a deep search.
21. Ensure that the website is compatible with all browsers
Not all the users are using Chrome or Mozilla, therefore test your website for all the versions of major browsers to improve the website usability. You may use the tools like broeserstack or browsershots to check the website for browser compatibility.
22. Don’t fill the website with too many ads
For better usability and user experience, make sure that your website doesn’t contain too many ads that are popping up unnecessarily. It causes the interruption in the reading process which results in leaving the website.
23. Test your site before launching
Before launching your website, testing is necessary. While testing, keep all the important aspects in mind such as loading time, browser compatibility, navigation, content quality, errors etc and find where it need improvements and apply the right strategy.
To improve the site’s user experience, the first step is to improve its usability to bring more users. While improving site usability, one and only thing you need to keep in mind is “the website is for users”. Think what they can expect from your site and make the decisions accordingly. If you face any problem to analyze the site manually, you may take help from various tools to improve the usability of your website.