8 Web Usability Boosts That Take Under a Minute
When people think about creating a great website they often envision a stylish and professional layout, a striking design and images that look like they were just taken out of a magazine. But while looks are definitely important for a website, it’s crucial not to neglect another significant criteria – the site’s usability.
Usability is measured by the clarity of the browsing experience.
Website owners and designers should strive to offer a simple and straightforward experience for the site visitors, not a challenging mind game.
1. How Readable Are You?
Did you ever visit a website and find yourself straining your eyes in order to be able to read the texts? That site, my friends, is what you’d call low on readability values. It’s highly important to avoid this situation and allow your visitors to read through your site seamlessly and effortlessly. You can test your site’s readability with this online tool for free. Submit your URL and see how good you score, and whether or not you need to think of further steps for improving your site’s readability.
2. Link Logo to Homepage:
This one is a no-brainer. If you have a company logo that is visible on all site pages, you should add a link from the logo to the site’s homepage. Yes, you should add the link even if you have a navigation menu with a fixed Homepage link in it. This habit has become a standard in website building, so you can bet that many of your site visitors will be expecting the logo to function this way.
3. Open in New Tab:
When you use external links to various destinations, make sure that you set up the links to open in a new tab instead of a direct forward from the current tab. Forgetting this important task is not only inconvenient for your site visitors, it’s also terrible for your site’s traffic since most of the visitors who step out of your website will not attempt to return to it.
4. Add a Site Subtitle:
You came up with a clever website title? Great, but unless you also add a subtitle or tagline to accompany it, many users will not be able to understand the purpose of your website. It’s highly important that visitors get the idea behind the site already in the first couple of seconds of their visit. Adding a short line to the site’s header or homepage is a simple and effective method to do this.
5. Keep Consistent Linking:
You know how site visitors recognize links by seeing that words are either underlined, or that their color changes when hovering over them with the mouse? Regardless of the effect you choose to make links recognizable, it’s important that you do it consistently throughout the entire site. Visitors will expect to see links behaving the same way, so if you use multiple effects they may not notice links that you wanted them to click.
6. Add a Search Bar:
Websites with significant amounts of textual content are especially advised to provide users with the ability to quickly search the site for specific keywords. You can’t assume that visitors will browse trough your entire site in search of what they need. Make it easier for them by offering this shortcut to their particular interests.
7. Use Anchor Links:
Anchor links are a unique type of navigation that leads site visitors to specific sections within a website page (unlike a regular menu that navigates through various site pages). Integrating anchor links is a smart move if your site has a long layout that requires the visitors to browse further and further downwards.
8. Test Your Website on Mobile:
To put it bluntly, a website of this day and age that is not optimized for mobile viewing is not scoring very high on usability points. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you test your website on a mobile device (preferably on both Apple and Android devices), and check that everything is loading fine, that images are not strangely cropped, and that texts do not seem too long.
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