If you want to increase your usability, you need to give customers what they want. Whether talking about usability of software or a web page, you need to let people navigate it with as little effort as possible. Gartner analyst, Ray Valdes, explains: “Usability affects how customers perceive and respond to products, services and artifacts of all types, including websites and applications”. Making a site usable means that it’s easy for someone to achieve what they want the first time they visit the page. Think about how an older visitor would react to their first encounter with your page. Would they be able to accomplish everything that you want them to? If not, you may need to reconsider what usability is and how you can implement it in a better manner.
Here are some key aspects that you need to keep in mind to increase overall usability.
1. Think About User Objectives
No matter how great your site or app is, it won’t be able to accomplish anything if you don’t think about your user objectives. In order to identify what they are, you need to research what your customers are looking for. There are a few different ways that you can do this. The most common strategy is to conduct a survey or poll and speak directly to the people that you are marketing to.
When you test to see what your customers are looking for, you’ll be able to meet their needs much easier. Be sure to provide users with a way to give you feedback, such as with a questionnaire or some form of testing so that you are always in touch with your visitors. You don’t need a large pool of data, either. If you poll just 5 people and get feedback, they will be able to reveal about 85% of the things that are wrong with your website. This will help you in two ways because you get the information you are looking for while your customers build a strong bond with you and your business. People like to know that their voices are being heard, and it’s very beneficial to collect data in this manner.
If you are still confused about what to look for, go to the website of a competitor and see what they are doing. See what’s working for them and what you would change or make better. This lets you understand what customers are looking for and gives you an advantage over your competition!
2. Make Your Site “Skimmable”
There are some people out there that just skim through websites. Jakob Nielsen’s study shows that about 23% of people scroll through a website on their first visit. While it’s not a huge number, you can generate more traffic by making your site skimmable. Focus on key points and make sure that they stand out from the rest of the text.
Your visitors shouldn’t have to sift through paragraphs of text just to find something that they are looking for. Keep your content clean and simple so that it’s easy to read and follow. Trim the fat and keep what’s necessary so that you have a very simple and straightforward message for your readers.
3. Understand How Pictures Work
There was a study that was conducted on eye-tracking and how readers react to faces on a page. An interesting discovery was made during the research process: visitors and readers are attracted to faces and will focus their attention on them. Furthermore, people will look in the direction that a person is facing in a photo. In other words, you can affectively target a certain amount of text or information just by having someone in a photo facing the same direction. In the same way, you need to understand how images can be used to make your website more user-friendly and accessible. Get your message across without putting in a lot of extra effort.
Gartner writes that, “Internal usability improvements are often put on the back burner because a clear ROI investment is considered, incorrectly, as impossible to discern”. Improvements in usability are crucial to a positive user experience, even though the ROI is not immediately obvious. If you are still having trouble choosing what to keep, understand that information beats creativity every time. There is no point in having a creative message if no one understands it. Keep it simple and to the point so that everyone is on the same page. If there is no way for you to trim anything else and you know that you have a lot of content, consider using an online guidance system like WalkMe to provide users with a helpful tool that guides them through the page and addresses their needs.
If you can keep your message clear and cater to your readers, you’ll be able to increase your traffic and generate more revenue. Don’t spend any more time wondering what you can change. Your site doesn’t have to be flash to be successful. Start making a difference now and see how much a few simple changes can really impact your site.