Improve My Website’s Usability, Please!
If your website seems to be optimally designed and laid out, but it still isn’t generating the leads and sales you are expecting, you might have a usability issue. You are probably thinking great, so how do I improve my website’s usability? Fortunately, you can easily improve your web site’s usability. Here are 8 ways you can improve the usability factor of your website:
- Remove Extra Chatter. Too much irrelevant information will drive traffic away, resulting in shoppers leaving your site before they have the chance to be wooed by your fantastic product offerings. When you cut the number of pages in half, the usability factor of your pages is improved by 58%. Remember this: on average, your audience will only read 28% of the text on your page!
- Maximize How Web Visitors “Read” Your Page. Users tend to scan the page in an F-pattern of two horizontal stripes and one vertical stripe. Make sure your call-to-action is in the shorter vertical stripe, and your navigation bar is in the longer vertical stripe. Your headline should be in the horizontal stripe.
- Put Your Information Where the Most Eyes Are. Web users spend roughly 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold so put the most information there. Also, web users spend 69% of their time viewing the left side of the page, so that’s another hot spot for your information.
- Optimize Your Load Time. If your web page takes more than 250 milliseconds longer to load than a close competitor, people will visit your site less often. If you’re using videos, make sure the videos don’t stall—four out of five online users will click away if a video stalls while loading. Finally, remember the golden number of 2—this is how many seconds online shoppers expect pages to load. At 3 seconds, a large number will ditch the site and go somewhere else.
- Improve Your Page Layout. You should optimize your page layout to be 1000-1600 pixels long by 770 pixels wide, and should keep the same layout for all of your pages. You should also utilize the exact same navigation menu on all of your pages, in the same place, and avoid dead end web pages and orphaned pages like the plague!
- Improve Your Search Box Size. The average search box is around 18 characters wide, but 27% of queries were too long to fit into it. Increase that to 27 characters, and you’ll accommodate 90% of the search queries likely to be used.
- Work with Your Typography. There are some important tips to remember about your typography in order to make your pages more us These are:
- Keep number of different fonts to a minimum
- Remember that 8% of men are color blind, so you should use other cues than color to draw attention to important text.
- To decrease confusion, use 4 different colors or less within your pages.
- The optimal width for text lines is between 45 and 75 characters.
- Pay Attention to Your Links. How you structure your links is important, because users expect them to behave in a particular way. Follow these 4 tips, and your links will be easily used by most Internet users.
- Color the links blue, because this is a common color for links throughout the Internet.
- Make sure your links change color after they’re clicked.
- Make your links descriptive enough that the user knows where the link is taking them.
- Use different colors for visited and unvisited links—this is something that 74% of websites do, so make sure you follow that standard!
By adhering to these 8 usability principles, you’ll greatly improve how usable your pages are. This will mean more visitors, longer visits, and more conversions or sales.
Comment below if you have any questions or comments.