Usability Requirements for a Website Owners

What are the main usability requirements for a website? People with extended experience in usability have their primary learning pertaining to traditional application and operating system platforms, and websites are considerably different.

Does usability matter with websites? Well, yes it does. First of all, there’s a fine line with this, between being too regimented (and thus taking the soul out of web diversity), and being too free handed and thus causing a lack of any standards to make using one website or the next a bit of an unnecessary journey.

So, there need to be general usability requirements for a website, especially in modern times, where so many devices are using the internet, and where so many things are being moved to web-based platforms. SaaS, ecommerce, entertainment, gaming, everything’s migrating to the web at least partially.

So, what are some of the most important tenets of this? Let’s take a look.

#1 – Following Eye Tracking Logic

Eye tracking logic is important, following how the human eye usually takes in the different elements of a website, and therefore familiarizing with the navigation and layout of the page.

There are a multitude of eye tracking formats out there, and they do leave room for creativity and uniqueness in appearance and aesthetic, but one of these standard models needs to be chosen. Usability requires some sense of logic and intrinsic understandability with first encounter with a page.

#2 – Text Visibility

Text visibility is important. The font needs to be of a proper size so that it fits on any device and display method easily. Furthermore, the color and weight of the text needs to make it stand out against the busy noise of a page’s visuals, and the font family needs to be a minimalist and easy to read type.

Along with this, links and buttons need to be of a distinctly different design so that clickable things are obvious for what they are, otherwise usability will suffer as the viewer tries desperately to find something that does something.

#3 – Minimal Hops in Navigation

This is a broad and sweeping thing, but designing a website so that minimal hops to go from one point to another for smooth use is important. This means that your content should jive well with your navigation pattern. For example, using infinite scrolling in a situation where the scroll items have a hop is a bad idea, because rediscovering your place in the scroll will be a headache and a half.

Along with this, centralizing section links along the top or side, so that jumping back home or to different sections does not require a long set of breadcrumb following from where you are lends a lot to proper usability.

These are just common sense usability requirements for a website, and another thing to consider, in closing, is designing your site, text bindings and the like to accommodate the browser’s translator if you intend for international viewers to use your site. If you adhere to these tenets and others we’ve discussed before, then your website will work fine. But if you neglect them, you’re destined to fail utterly and terribly.


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.