Posted by Cameron Francis on 21 Feb , 2013 in Website Usability
Very often we come across a website that frustrates or irritates us and leaves us with a negative experience. We will not like to buy anything from such a website or the company owning such a website. In order for visitors to have a positive impression of your organization, it is necessary that they have a positive experience with your website. This is known as good website usability or user friendliness of a website.
In order to discern the usability of websites, you can conduct usability tests using two methods. In one method users access the website in their own space and then are interviewed regarding their experience. The second method is a lab test conducted in a controlled environment with smaller number of test subjects.
The things that you should keep in mind while conducting a website usability test are:
First and foremost, the website should be compatible with most popular browsers used by people in your target area. If the website is not compatible with a browser it will not open and a visitor will just move on to another site.
You should keep in mind that not all users may be using the latest computer systems. Many people might still be using old and outdated systems. The website should also be compatible with all devices used for accessing internet.
The opening up of the website should not take too much time, nor should there be delays while changing pages. This is because most people don’t have the patience to wait endlessly for a website or a page to open.
The navigation from one page to another should be simple and you should avoid the standard aspects of navigation that most users expect to find in website like navigation at the top or on the left side of the page. The navigation labels should be self-explanatory.
The text should be readable on any size of monitor. This is because some text may be too small to be legible on a small monitor and blow up to show jagged edges on a large monitor.
The color combination of the web pages should be aesthetically appealing and you should also ensure that the colour combination does not cause visibility problems for people with color blindness. At the same time, the color combination should not cause a visual hindrance reducing the clarity.
The font should not be too stylized which can also hamper readability.
The user interface should be designed keeping the mind the tasks that a user will perform on it rather than considering the organizational structure. For instance in an ecommerce website you should consider the steps a person usually follows while making a purchase.
The content provided in the website should be informative and entertaining so that it can capture the attention of the user for a longer time.
Good website usability is an essential factor that can cause your website to become popular and can encourage repeat visits to it. This is essential if you want visitors to actually buy your products and services.
Website usability testing is one of the methods used to find out how user friendly a website is and to ascertain that visitors have a positive experience while using your website and hence a positive image of your organization. However, this task involves a number of technical aspects and is best handled by experts.
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