Usability – 10 Ways to Make Sure Your Website is Easy to Use

Usability Ten Ways to Make Sure Your Site is Easy to Use

Usability is a huge factor in web design today. With so much content and competition out there, readers are never going to stay on a site that is difficult to use. No matter how good your content is, readers will never stay on a un-usable site to find it. They will navigate away in a second, and find another site that is easier to use and has likely very similar content.

Usability Ten Ways to Make Sure Your Site is Easy to Use

So what does this mean? This means that regardless of how long or hard you work on your content, it won’t matter in the slightest if your site isn’t usable. Usability means the ease of use and learning of your a human made object – and in a website’s case, how long it takes people to figure out how to use and interact with your site. This includes everything from responsiveness, to design, to how the eyes feel when reading. Usability is a huge area, and people now go to school for years to study all the different aspects of it. It is constantly evolving, and it’s almost impossible to stay up to date on what would make a site 100% usable. But, to keep things simple, here are 10 basic things you can ask yourself to start making sure your site is usable.

Logo

Does your user know what site they are on as soon as they arrive?
Does your logo appear clear and unpixelated?
Is your logo easy to read and interpret?

Description

Does your user know what your site is about moments after arriving?
Does your site have a description line under the header, or a blurb at the top of the sidebar?
Does your description sum up what you do and entice people to scroll further?

Navigation

Does your user know how to navigate your site as soon as they arrive?
Are your most important links at a top level? (not in a drop down menu)
Are expected links in your nabber? (contact, about, etc.)
Is your navigation menu at the same place on every page?

Content

Is your content easy for the user to read and interact with?
Is the font a good size and easily readable?
Does your line height offer enough space to read each line easily?
Is there enough contrast between the colours of your font and background?

Links

Can your user tell what is clickable and what isn’t?
Are all your links similar with the same colour or decoration?
Do your links perform a similar action when hovered over?

Search

Can users search for information they are looking for?
Is your search bar easy to find on every page?
Does your search bar work when users try to type into it?

Distractions

Can your user interact with your content without any distractions?
Do pop ups allow your user to stay on task?
Are animations or moving elements subtle enough to allow the user to focus on the content of the site?

Design

Can your user use your page without getting confused or tired?
Is there enough whitespace on your page to avoid clutter?
Is your page scannable so users can find the information they are looking for?
Do your posts and pages have a consistent layout across the entire site?
Are your site colours pleasing to the eye and easy to work with?

Interaction

Can users interact with your site easily?
Is the comment area of your site simple to find?
Is it easy to type in and interact with the forms of your site?
Are social network links easy to find and use throughout the site?

Mobile

Can users interact with your site on any device?
Does your site look good on multiple devices?
Are important site elements still easily accessible on different devices?

If you go through these questions and can answer yes to all of them, that means your site is on its way to being extremely usable and user friendly. Though there is always more to learn, fulfilling these elements is a great place to begin. Though there are tools out there to help test a lot of different elements of web design, usability is not one of them. Usability is about the way that humans interact and use a website, so the only true way to test it is by creating a user test with focus groups and actual human participants. A great thing to consider is actually asking your users once you have a solid following. Create a survey or poll to ask them about different elements of your site’s usability. But make sure you keep things quick and simple – users won’t want to spend too long doing this for you, and too many surveys and distractions means bad usability!

What other elements help to make a site usable?

4 thoughts on “Usability – 10 Ways to Make Sure Your Website is Easy to Use”

    1. Thanks Liz! It’s definitely an important part of web design that a lot of people forget. But it can make such a huge difference! I hope these points help you out!

  1. Mobile responsiveness is very important nowadays because the majority of readers using their mobile device when surfing on the internet. It becomes the convenient way to use a smartphone for a lot of reasons now. Design is important, and this is what draw some bloggers attention because that’s what most of them look at first.

    1. Definitely Sam! Design is so important, especially when it comes to mobile design because it means how easy your site is to navigate and interact with on a mobile device. Most people will leave a site immediately if it doesn’t look good on mobile.

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