The Rules of Thumb of User Ease and Simplicity

Without a doubt one of the most crucial parts of any user experience is ease of use.

In a time where competitors are always striving to have better and more accessible design, you simply cannot afford to ignore the importance of a clean interface, without clutter that translates well across all devices.

To help you achieve this simple and clutter free environment, we’ve compiled 4 keys to user ease and simplicity –

1. Be Aware of How Users are Interacting with Your Site, Rather Than How They’re Rating it

Let’s face it, sometimes customer surveys are inaccurate.

While you can count on surveys and metrics to give you some excellent information, don’t assume they always contain 100% accurate information.

We’ve all seen users struggle to use a site or to complete a task and then turn around and rate that experience “easy”. Be more aware of how they’re using your site than how they’re rating it. Both are important but if you’re going to count on quality data, observe, observe, observe.

Remember, sometimes we rush through those surveys just to get out of there. Beware of this and count on your keen observations. If a user does complain about a task’s difficulty be sure that you ask why and be sure that they are able to walk you through exactly what went wrong and how it can be improved. There may be challenges with things that you just didn’t expect.


2. Having Confidence in a Business Means Everything to a User so Maintain Credibility

Be Credible. When your users find what they are looking for on your site without effort and without clutter or pop ups, they’re going to stay.

But perhaps more importantly, if they trust that you offer what you say you offer, they’re going to trust your company.

Having confidence in a business means everything to a user and credibility is linked to a variety of things from content to ease of use.

So avoid mistakes.

A company’s website riddled with spelling errors or broken links does little to inspire confidence. You simply can’t afford these errors because others are waiting to better serve your users and your users will leave to find them. So be careful, pay attention to errors and be sure that you’ve developed the site without errors and without missteps.

3.Clarity is Critical –  Don’t Distract or Confuse Your Users

Don’t make it difficult to complete any tasks.

Make the process consistent.

If you’re going to do any upgrades or significant changes do so keeping in mind that you’re going to cause major confusion.

Gartner reports that a common usability misconception is as follows:

It is better to have a UI with lots of dynamic menus, animation, multimedia, rich graphics and other visual effects, even if it slows down the page-load time and decreases the responsiveness of the interface.

In reality, obsessing over a visual experience can result in unnecessary development work that negatively impacts usability, UX, brand experience and overall business value.

The look may change but the process should be the same. If your overall appearance is clean and minimalist, you’ll allow your users to focus only on critical and relevant content presented in a clean and clear way. This will make things easy to find and access.

4. Be Consistent to Make Updates or Changes Easy

Your users are familiar with a variety of design concepts throughout the web. By using consistency and meeting expectations, you will make your site easy to learn and even intuitive. This is because intuitive design makes use of what users already know. It also creates something easy to learn even in the event of a redesign or site overhaul.

Remember, create that familiar feeling and you’ll allow your users to reach their goals more quickly.

Gartner recommends that you “overcome development difficulty because, although good design is invisible, achieving invisible ease-of-use can require a sophisticated technology foundation.”

Great usability means that your website is available, accessible, clear, credible, trustworthy and critical to those who use it. If you keep your site relevant and continue to test it, you’ll make significant gains.

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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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