Website Usability Guide

Website Usability Guide

Make sure that captions are displayed long enough for people to read and process the information. According to a recent study, these are the most standard elements people expect when they visit a website: Logo in top left of screen Contact information in top right of screen Horizontal main menu navigation in the header at the top of each page Search bar in the header Social media follow icons in the footer It’s in your best interest to follow these best practices. These are the factors that you need to keep in mind when you’re designing your visual hierarchy for website usability. Your homepage is important, but ultimately, users will need to navigate to other landing pages in order to convert. How many clicks do they need to make? How do visitors get from your homepage to your blog? If the user has to click or navigate to another page to view prices, it’s not optimal for their experience. If you navigate to another product page and it doesn’t look identical to this, you’re going to be very confused. If visitors don’t having a good experience, they aren’t going to come back. These are the most important elements of website usability in 2019: Mobile optimization Website accessibility Common design elements Visual hierarchy Simple navigation Credibility Legible and scannable content Consistency from page to page Use this guide as a reference to implement these components on your website.

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How to make sure your website is user friendly

I’ll get straight to the point — if your website isn’t user-friendly, it will never succeed. That’s why website usability needs to be a top priority in 2019.

People don’t have to put with a poor user experience anymore. If they’re unhappy with a website, they’ll can just navigate back to a search engine and find another site to meet their needs. It’s that simple.

Once they go, they’re gone: 88% of online users are unlikely to return to a website after a bad experience.

On the flip side, if your website is user-friendly, people will keep coming back. Following website usability best practices will also increase your conversion rates.

But, most website owners don’t realize that their site isn’t user-friendly. Obviously, nobody is going to intentionally make things difficult on their customers.

That’s my inspiration for writing this guide. I want to show you the best practices you need to follow in 2019 to make your site user friendly. Follow along and make sure these principles are applied to your website.

Optimize for mobile devices

This should go without saying, but surprisingly, I still find myself landing on websites that haven’t been optimized for mobile users.

It’s wild, because 52% of global Internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Those mobile users are doing more than just browsing from their devices; they’re buying as well.

In fact, mobile commerce will account for roughly 73% of total ecommerce market in the next two years.

Mobile E-commerce

Some areas of the world have already surpassed that figure. Today, roughly 75% of ecommerce sales in China come from mobile devices.

So the first thing you need to do it make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. Even after that’s done, there are still improvements you can make to improve the website usability for mobile users.

When someone is browsing from a desktop computer, it’s easy for them to click nearly anywhere on the screen. On a desktop, there’s nothing wrong with putting your CTA or other clickable items in a corner.

That’s not the case for mobile devices where 75% of users navigate and click using their thumbs and 49% click with just one hand.

Mobile One Hand Click

As you can see from this graphic, this makes it challenging for people to reach certain areas of their screens. If you have buttons in those red zones, it’s going to frustrate people on your mobile website.

It’s uncomfortable for them to try and reach the corners, and they might even click on something else by mistake. If they navigate to the wrong page, it’s going to be frustrating, since it adds steps to their process.

So even if your website passes a mobile-friendly test, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been fully optimized for the user experience.

Follow WCAG standards

The web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) were created so that websites can meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Roughly 15% of people across the globe live with some form of a disability. You don’t want to discourage or discriminate anyone from visiting your website. Everyone is entitled to a good experience.

Here are some of the categories of disabilities that can affect people on the web:

  • Auditory
  • Cognitive
  • Neurological
  • Physical
  • Speech
  • Visual

So what can you do to make your website more accessible? I’ll give you some examples.

About 300 million people in the world are color blind. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they see in black and white. It just means they process certain colors differently. You need to make sure your website isn’t using conflicting colors that can’t be processed by people with visual impairments.

Avoid alternating color backgrounds and flashing lights on your website. These elements can trigger seizures from people who suffer from light sensitivity.

To accommodate website visitors who have hearing impairments, you should add captions to all video content. Make sure that captions are displayed long enough for people to read and process the information.

The WCAC has four main principles to meet their web accessibility standards.

WCAG Standards

If your website is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for as many people as possible, you’ll meet those standards.

Stick to common design elements

When you’re designing a website, it can be tempting to get creative. Maybe creativity is part of your brand’s image, or maybe you just want to experiment with something new.

Save that innovation for your products and marketing campaigns. When it comes to usability, it’s in your best interest to follow common web design best practices.

Why?

People have a certain expectation when they land on a website. Let me give you an analogy to showcase my point.

What do you expect when you walk into a fast food chain, like McDonald’s? You wait in line, order at the register, then they call your number when your food is ready. That’s a pretty standard experience.

But what if you walked into a McDonald’s and an employee sat you at a table. They brought you some menus and asked you what you want to drink. Then they came back five minutes later to take…

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