This may not sound encouraging, but research shows us that the average online user will stay on a website for less than one minute. So you obviously have to make a strong impression with visitors to keep them coming back for more. Since you only have less than a minute to do this, it’s best to learn web usability principles to improve your chances for success.
Creating a site that grabs attention in the first few seconds of visiting is crucial. By increasing engagement with those visiting your site, your conversion rates can double and even triple. Adding great features might seem like one approach, but increasing usability is even more important.
With that said, we’ll take a look at three critical usability principles that can make or break your website whether used correctly or not.
Principle 1: Easy Website Accessibility
Website accessibility is one of the most basic principles of site usability. If visitors find it difficult to access the website, obviously this site will not be very effective, and in fact, some may even consider it worthless. If you’ve invested a lot of time and money into your site, you need to make changes immediately to improve accessibility. You can do so by implementing the following suggestions:
Improve website speed – having a fast website is incredibly important from a usability perspective. If your page doesn’t load quickly – like within a few seconds – your visitor will become frustrated and bounce to another site. Google has a tool called PageSpeed Insights that can help you make page load improvements.
Fix broken links – if a visitor finds a link to your site that takes them to a 404 page, it will seriously turn them off and turn them away from your brand. Use Google’s internal links report within the former Webmaster Tools now known as Search Console to identify broken links in need of fixing.
Server Uptime – your readers will become incredibly frustrated if they visit your site and it’s down. This could mean potential revenue loss and create a poor image of your brand. Invest in a reliable hosting service to prevent this from becoming a problem.
Principle 2: Clarity and Simplicity
Every website should strive for clarity and simplicity. A major web usability principle revolves around keeping things simple. If you hire a web design agency, you’ll want them to design your site with a structure that is clear and user-friendly, using responsive design. Some recommendations to make include:
Friendly site structure – have your website organized in a way that shares your content by categories. Being able to clearly navigate your website is also a must. Your visitors need to know where to look quickly during the site navigation process. Categories and subcategories make that possible.
Whitespace is your friend – some website owners feel like they must cram every space on their website with some type of content. They do not want to waste the space. Oddly enough, this is counterproductive since whitespace makes it easier for readers to quickly scan the page to find what they’re looking for.
Principle 3: Establishing Credibility
Your website must help establish trust and visibility among your audience. Building site credibility is essential to your success. You can accomplish this with the following suggestions:
Professional design – making a good first impression is essential to your credibility. Design your website in a way that reflects your brand, and have a professional web development team take your ideas and make them a reality.
Quality content – you can quickly establish credibility when publishing quality content. Avoid grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and untargeted or irrelevant topics.
Use these three make it or break it principles of web usability to achieve authority, establish credibility, and become a major player in your niche.
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.