7 Simple Things You Can Do to Simplify Usability

Our managers and bosses don’t always recognize the importance of great usability.

Gartner analyst Ray Valdes states that, “enterprises too often associate usability and user experience (UX) work as a nice-to-have aesthetic rather than an important business value generator. As a result, poor usability undermines business results with external and internal stakeholders.” 

As Ux and usability experts, are all aware that if a website or a software program is not easy to understand and to use, then most probably it will not do succeed. That is why, we need to make sure that we simplify usability as much as possible.

Here we outline 7 simple things that can be done to simplify usability of a website or software.

#1. Remove Unnecessary Content

The first step to simplify a website is to make sure that only the most vital elements are included on the page. As soon as a user lands on the site, he/she will not be discouraged by never-ending paragraphs and links. According to a study, 50% of websites that were surveyed were not simple because useful content was not made readily available. So, start by getting rid of content that you can do without. This will automatically simplify the site a great deal.

#2. Reduce Images:

While it is important to have a good balance between words and visual aids, it is often best to keep images to a minimum on the homepage and other main pages of the site.

Gartner recommends removing unnecessary design: “Strive for a great UX by realizing that design is not just about adding features, but also is about their carefully considered removal.”

The simpler the homepage is, the better. You should focus mainly on offering users the most important information as soon as they open the site, rather than having them browse through several pages or scroll down for ages!

#3. Condense Text:

The text that you include in the homepage should be condensed – that is, it should be informative, yet simple and straightforward. There is no need to write lengthy introductions. Just keep it as simple as possible so as to entice a visitor to read through it quickly. Shrinking and hiding techniques can be of great help to reach this goal.

#4. Simplify Navigation:

Simplifying navigation is key. There are various ways to do this. Common methods include using large buttons and making sure that there is a site map. Users need to find what they are looking for as quickly and as easily as possible. So make sure that key details are made readily available as soon as they land on the site. Navigation needs to be given plenty of importance when it comes to mobile web design. Another site should be designed for mobile users, rather than expecting them to access the normal website in an unusual crammed format on a mobile device.

#5. Decrease Loading time:

Another important point is to make sure that the loading time is made as short as possible. This can help a great deal as users will not start to get frustrated before they even access the site or program.

#6. Simplify Design:

The design is of utmost importance. It calls for a lot of planning, especially in respect to the layout, use of images and other visual aids, and content. Make the design as simple as possible, while trying to make sure that it is appealing and informative for users. Users need to understand where they are and where the information they need is located, even on their very first visit on the site. A simple design can guarantee this.
#7. Testing:

When testing a site or program you need to view it as if you were an outsider. It is a good idea to ask people to try it out, and you should do this by giving them tasks to perform while on the site or program. In such a way you will be better able to measure their reactions in terms of how simple and usable the site is.

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Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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