Essential Ingredients for Usability in Web Design
By Steve Grant
Oct 16th 2013
One of the most important jobs for a website designer is to make sure a website is user friendly. Web visitors should find a site easy to use, quick to navigate, lacking in errors and ultimately they should have a high level of satisfaction with using the site.
Whilst web design is quite a subjective experience, there are several key factors which help to make a website usable and a good web designer should be focusing on these points:
- Hyperlinks need to be big enough to be clicked on. A website will be full of links as part of the basic navigation. It is important that these clickable links are not too small that users cannot activate them with their mouse or a tap on a touch screen, otherwise they will get fed up and leave the site. Your web design agency will need to consider the size of the links within a mobile site too. Mobile navigation needs to be much simpler and links need to be easily accessed by the user’s fingers or thumbs.
- Content needs to be easy to scan. Web visitors are bombarded with lots of information. Your website is just another place people will be perusing so you need to make sure that you can draw them in. A website page should be broken down into clear sections and make use of headings, images and icons to catch the visitor’s attention. The copy itself needs to be short, concise and broken down using headers and paragraphs and bullet points. A professional web copy writer can help with making content easy to read for the web.
- Dividing content into different pages is essential and makes it more convenient for a web visitor to use. But equally, over-paginating a website can make the experience inconvenient. Some businesses may over-paginate a website in order to gain more page views for their websites, but it is best to use as few as pages as possible to divide up the content to make the overall web experience better for the user.
A good web designer will look to improve a website’s usability. The usability can have a huge impact on the amount of time a visitor stays on your website, the number of pages they view and the likelihood of them returning to your site. If a web visitor finds a site easy to use and easy to navigate, they have a far higher chance of converting and buying from you.