Online Success: Building Usability
Web designers have run the gamut between over selling too much of what you don’t need and not enough of what you actually need. Blue widgets, rich snippets, FLASH!, bread crumbs, buzz words buzz words buzz words…but what actually WORKS?
There is a lot that goes into quality website design. It’s more than just a pretty look, or tons of content, to truly excel it’s best if your website is created through a combination of an appealing visual look and the options a user needs to perform their desired actions.
You can have all the plugins in the world installed and it won’t do any good. Beyond all the hype words and everything else one key thing that brings users to a site and keeps them coming back is usability. What is usability? It’s how user friendly the site is, how intuitive it is to use, as well as how easy it is – or isn’t – for people to find the things they want. Usability can be the difference between a good site and a bad site, or a good site and a GREAT site.
Here are some tips to help you make sure your website goes beyond just a slick look and includes the elements your users demand:
Any color you like…that’s what Floyd said, man. Well. It’s kind of true. You CAN make your site any color you like, any style you like! Pink and green rotating stripes with flashing red lights and graphics flying in and spinning…you can also repeatedly punch yourself in the nuts as a past-time if that’s your thing. Point of fact however is that the look, the visual design of your website, will often determine the first and perhaps only impression visitors receive.
Having your site design be not only pleasing in color and tone but also well designed for clean layout is of vital importance. Avoid clutter. Avoid making the site overly busy with text or flashing images. You want you design to be clean and quick to load.
Speaking of quick to load, these days it’s essential that your website be mobile responsive and compliant with modern web standards for display on multiple devices. Having a mobile friendly website not only helps insure your site will be available for the more than 50% of users who are not on desktop machines, but it will also make sure that your site loads quickly and is available right away. There’s nothing more frustrating for visitors than waiting all that time for a page to load only to find that it’s impossible to use on your phone or isn’t even the page you need.
Last, but certainly not least is navigation. Your navigation should be the path on which you lead your visitors through your site. It should be intuitive, easy to find, and use. Beyond just a menu on the top of your page your navigation also includes call to action buttons and other links throughout your content.
Unfortunately, this very important step is often something that is overlooked or just passed over quickly in the frameworking process. Before graphics or many other elements of the design it’s often best to sit down and consider what course of action you want your visitors to take and how you can use your navigation options to encourage them along that route.
if you have to explain it it’s not that good…”
Targeting your design to be focused on a clear course of action for visitors is smart for you and smart for them; essentially you’re helping them more easily get to the things you hope they are on your site to find – your stuff!
It’s easy to create a website these days. Any teenager can set up a quick WordPress template, slap your name on it and charge you a few grand. You’ve seen the commercials for drag and drop design like WIX and others, but there is a lot that goes into successful web design that involves more than just knowing what looks good on the page or how to write code. Our experience of years in the industry counts, the value of which far exceeds simply having the technical knowledge to install software; it is one of the reasons we hope you will consider Geeks Worldwide for your next web development project. Let us share in your vision and help make it as powerful of a reality as it can be!