Also known as User friendly, applicability, Operability, availability etc. All these terms refers to the communication between human und machine. When users have difficulty in navigating your website  which means aren’t able to get along with your site . They just leave and often do not ever return to your site. The reason for this, is because there a a lot of other websites which they can turn to.Usability measures the user-friendliness of your website, suggest improvement possibilities to enable your internet presence achieve a maximum success.

A user friendly website should have the following characteristics:

  • Should catch users attention straight away. Users should immediately perceive what the website is all about
  • User who return after a long time back to your website, should still be able to get along with the site structure and navigation
  • User should invest if possible very little time to fish out what they are looking for
  • The website shouldn’t be over loaded. It should have a very simple design and not difficult to understand
  •  Use symbols like the “ I like button, envelope symbol for e-Mails” etc.
  • Group topics which are related
  • Write short and precise, this spares the user a lot of time.
  • Use pictures with suitable designs, this is usually for users very appealing
  • Your contact details  and the Privacy-Policy should not be missing on your website
  • Avoid  destructive elements like Pop-ups, Advertising elements which jump here and there
  • Use Site names which are easy to memorise

How can one improve on Usability?

Test your website, in order to find out what the user needs are, thereby you can improve on your website.There are different Test methods you can use. The easiest however is to show someone who has no knowledge about the site a copy in form of screenshot or PowerPoint presentation. After about 5 seconds, ask the person the following questions:

  • What was the website all about ?
  • What details can you remember ?
  • Will you probably want to buy from this website?

The test takes just some few minutes but you will be able to quickly find out information about the weak points of your site and possible improvement strategies. You will not know to what  users actually need, if you don’t perform a test, thereby wouldn’t be able to improve on the weak points of the website. Here are examples of test you may want to perform:

User test: You may test how easy it is to use your site. Users reactions on your site will be monitored. This can be done with the help of A/B- and multivariante test. This method of testing can be done without an expert, an example of user test is the eye-tacking (performed in test-labs). Website testing is a broad field which could be time costing and expensive. However there are experts who are specialised in this field. Incase you wouldn’t want to perform the test your self, you may contact an expert.

Here are some methods used by experts:

  • Cognitive Walkthrough: An expert act as a User, goes step by step through your site and make note of all weak points and suggest possible improvements.
  • Heuristic Evaluation: different experts analyse independently your site. At the end this will be compiled and evaluated. With this method almost all the weak points of your site will be identified.