Best Website Usability Principles

Let us get this straight. Good design is not about good looking pages. It’s about user-centric design. Your website design should be talking to your audience and your user. It should be expressing your business offerings correctly and helping the user reach the correct destination point. A pretty-looking website, with bad usability principles, is equal to a poor website. Remember that a website is as good as it conversions. 

So that means you need to understand how the average consumer’s brain works and what will make him stick on to your website and probably even order your product or service. As an SEO agency we never get tired of explaining to brands that usability principles are extremely important for inviting the customers into the website and attracting them to explore the content. That straightaway increases your chances of a visitor converting to a lead and a lead converting to a consumer. To make it easier for you, we have listed tried-and-tested usability principles you shouldn’t ignore when designing a website.

  • Don’t make the users think

Most visitors aren’t avid readers. They are persons with problems. And, they are searching for the solution on your website.

Don’t try to impress visitors with fancy words or technical jargons. Most of them won’t get it. As a result, they will visit a website with a more straightforward language. If you don’t want this to happen, write in a style that everyone understands.

In case you want to insert a technical term, explain it. A better way is to have a mini-glossary on every page with an explanation. Many websites also have a separate page with a long list of technical terms in alphabetical order.

  • Make the content scannable

Presentation of your content is as important as its quality. Users find the relevant information quickly from a well-structured content. For starters, don’t feel tempted to fill the entire page with text and graphics.

Divide the content into headings and subheadings to make it more scannable. Break your lines into bullet points if the following elements are three or more in number:

  1. Examples
  2. Steps
  3. Tips and tricks

Make the subheadings bold and italicize one or two lines increase the impact. You can change the font to make the content more enticing.

And, don’t forget to put a call to action. The people fail to determine what they need to do next if there isn’t a right call to action button. You can have buttons like:

  1. Read More that redirects to another page
  2. Buy Now/Try now if you are selling a product
  3. Contact Us that redirects to a form or contact details
  4. Sign Up for the Newsletter
  5. Or anything else that’s relevant to your business
  • Use pop-ups carefully

You will find many lead-generation articles or experts claiming that pop-ups are instrumental in generating hot leads. No doubt they are. But, these elements can irritate your users (and sometimes Google). There are specific guidelines to abide by if you don’t want the customers to leave due to pop-ups.

  1. For mobile websites, avoid pop-ups on the first page (Google says so).
  2. Make sure a customer can get out of the pop-up quickly.
  3. Modify the website to avoid the messages popping-up on every page.
  4. Keep the text short and to-the-point.
  5. Program your pop-ups to appear just before a visitor exits your website.
  6. And of course, the design should match the overall layout of the website.
  • Create a Mobile-friendly website

Ask any web designer about tips to design a website, and he/she will include this point. Did you know that 52.6% of worldwide web traffic comes through smartphones? This is what online statistics website Statista reported in 2019.

When a user visits a website whose elements aren’t compatible with a mobile phone, he/she feels irritated. Browsing through the pages gets challenging. Not only does the user leave the page but also forms an impression that business is not credible. And we bet you don’t want that to happen.

In 2015, Google also released an algorithm, based on which it improved the ranks of mobile-responsive websites. This search engine supports mobile-responsiveness so much that it has its online tool to test it. 

  • Simplify navigation

The digital marketing analytics firm Clutch did a survey to assess what the online users value most in a website. Ninety-four per cent of the respondents claimed that easy navigation is a website’s most important feature. Finding the content gets more manageable if the navigation is proper.

The first rule of thumb is to allow the users to reach any page of your website from any page they on. To make this possible, put the links of all relevant pages in the menu. And, keep this menu consistent on each page of your website.

For content-heavy websites, a search bar is a necessity. This ensures the users don’t get lost in the rabbit hole while searching for a content piece or product/service.

The Bottom Line:

As an SEO marketing agency, we often take this example to explain the importance of good website usability principles. During the first year of Amazon’s launch, Jeff Bezos invested 100 times more into customer experience instead of advertising. The unparalleled success of this online retail giant tells why it was one of the sanest business decisions, and why you should also pay heed to making your website’s design user centric. 

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