Website Usability: How Easily Can a Customer Use Your Website?
How easy is your website to use? Customer usability is often overlooked and it shouldn't be! If your website is not user-friendly, then your sales may be suffering. Today we'll look at the characteristics of a user friendly website and steps you can take to make your eCommerce site easier to use.
What Does Website Usability Mean?
Website usability refers to the experience a person has when visiting a website. This includes things such as the content, colours, text size, font, page speed, menu layout and page layout.
If someone is unhappy with the way your website works, they will go elsewhere. As an eCommerce site owner, this means lost sales as customers visit other website which are appeal to them better.
What Makes a Good User Experience?
User experience, also known as UX, must deliver value to those using your website. The user experience honeycomb created by Peter Morville demonstrates this well:
User Experience Honeycomb
Useful - will your products or services, and your content be useful to users?
Usable - how easy is your site to use?
Desirable - does it look good & display your brand image and identity effectively?
Findable - can users find what they need on your site, & is it found by search engines?
Accessible - can those with disabilities use your site effectively?
Credible - does your site and content look professional and trustworthy?
Valuable - what value does your site contribute to your bottom line and customer satisfaction?
What Are the Characteristics of a User Friendly Website?
What does a website with good UX contain? For the ultimate in usability, a website should have:
mobile and device responsivity
simple & intuitive navigation
a clearly identifiable logo and brand identity
super fast loading speed
clear calls to action
easy to scan content with headings and bullet points
text which is balanced with media (images, videos, graphics)
capabilities to share content on social media
If a web visitor cannot intuitively use your website, they will leave. Next we'll look at ways you can improve the UX of your website.
7 Ways to Make Your Website More User Friendly
A website with good UX is easier to achieve than you may think. Here is a list of seven things you can do to improve the usability of your website:
Contact information - be sure that your contact page has not only a contact form, but also details of how visitors can contact you! Email addresses and phone numbers are essential.
Check your page speed - if your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load a page, it's too slow. Consider upgrading your plan or switching to a better website host.
Provide extra information - sometimes visitors want additional information than is on your website in order to make a decision. Give them that information either somewhere on your site, or as a downloadable guide.
Make navigation intuitive - have the menu bar in plain site and limit the number of options on it.
Use white space effectively - having white space around your text and images makes it easier to scan. Using headings and bullet points increases the amount of white space a page has, also improving scanning capabilities.
Choose colours wisely - you'll want to use the same colours as within your brand guidelines, but too many colours or colours used in the wrong places won't make your site easy to use. In general, darker colours should be for headings, while light and bright colours for buttons and calls to action.
Tell visitors what to do - known as calls to action, this is when you lay it out for a visitor what you want them to do next. Big clickable buttons or text telling them what to do next is required!
It may be useful to conduct an audit of your site's UX either yourself or using one of the many free tools which can be found in a Google search. For help in making improvements on your site, we suggest contacting one of our recommended web designers.