While many people understand the power of simple and elegant design, when it comes to making your business website. Making it extremely easy to use for people is all the more important. Because if they can not easily find their way around on your website, they will simply run to your competitors. Therefore making a conscious effort to make your website easy to use is more important than ever.
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Here are the top 10 things to test your website is user-friendly
While after years of designing and developing websites, it seems like second nature to me to make a ridiculously easy navigation menu. It’s amazing how many people make mistake in this area. Some make the navigation menu complicated with all unnecessary options, while others make it invisible all-to-gather. Which appears when user does something. The famous Mystery Meat Navigation. The thing is, the purpose of navigation is to help people easily find their way around on your website. And thus not following standards and making the navigation fancy defeats the purpose.
The Home Button:
Take the iPhone or any other smartphone for example. There is a reason why all of them make it a point to have the HOME BUTTON right at the tip of the user’s thumb all the time. It’s because no matter how deep into the phones system the user goes. He should always have the comfort to return HOME with just one tap. Similarly, on your website, no matter where the user is wondering around. He should always have the comfort to return home with just one click.
This is yet another design standard that all the major players like Amazon, Apple and Facebook unanimously follow. But its interesting how the smaller players who need it the most, are actually the ones who tend to ignore it. Sure there is a navigation menu on the top, but you still need a navigation at the bottom. Just to make things easier for people. Because that’s the whole point of this testing.
This is a feature more needed by websites that span across hundreds of pages. If you have a 10 page website, Sitemap will still help users as the ultimate guide and it also improves SEO. But if you have a website that has more than 50 pages, then having a sitemap is a must for you. Because in that case, sitemap works like the ultimate guide for users. In such a case if you do not have a well linked website with a site map then most of your links are never gonna be used at all. And trust me, you don’t want that to happen to your website.
- Search : There are two types of behaviours that people show, when it comes to navigating around websites.
- Navigation: people use the given navigation menus and sitemaps to get to where they want. 2. Search: In this case people know exactly what they want and simply wanna avoid all unnecessary steps and use the search engine to find what they want.
People exhibit both behaviors depending on the situation. Therefore it’s important that you have a robust search engine on your website along with a sitemap and a navigation. Especially if you offer multiple products/services on your website.
People today are more busy than they ever were. And this has resulted in a change in the way they use websites. Nowadays they are not patient enough to read anything. They simply scan their way through the websites. And if your website is not made to suit their browsing habits then you may lose a big competitive edge. Therefore, it’s important to have visual websites with catchy pictures, Big Bold headings and minimal text. Because until people are 100% sure that reading a text might help them, they will simply not read it.
In the last few years, the number of people who have moved to pro mobile browsing has just shot up and in the upcoming few years with the advancement in tablet devices. I am pretty sure that the bigger screens will become rare, like desktops are rare today. Today an average of more than 60% visitors to a website are using mobile platforms. Even search engines have adapted to this change to give higher ranking to mobile friendly websites. The non responsive layouts have become outdated and even the most traditional webmasters and website owners are going mobile these days.
Theme and Color Scheme:
Having a coherent design that is uniform in all respect and across all platforms is beneficial both design wise and usability wise. Choosing random multiple colors and typography will not only give you a website that’s non uniform but also is a pain to the visitors eyes. Just like unwanted noise in music is a pain to the ears, unwanted incoherence is a pain to the visitor’s eyes. And will simply drive them away. Therefore hire an expert to review your website’s theming, even though it might seem ludicrous to decide the Theme Scheme of your website by yourself. Because you might know your business well, but an expert knows your users better.
Another obvious thing that most people tend to miss is the ‘Contact Us’ section. Providing as many ways as possible for your visitors to get in touch with you is very necessary because you never know what medium of contacting you, will be most suitable for them. Also because no matter how obvious you try to make the website, there might always be questions and doubts that the visitors might have, which might be unresolved for which they want to get in touch with you. Also contacting you is the beginning of starting to establish a relationship with your visitors. Which is all the more healthy for you and your business.
Live Chat Support:
Having live chat support might seem like an unnecessary expense, but trust me, You will be amazed to see how much more business this feature can bring to you. When people who are visiting your website have a doubt. Its far more likely that they will express their doubts on chat support then that they would pick up the phone and place a call to ask their questions. And beginning a conversation with the visitor is the first step to making a successful sale. Therefore incorporating this service of live chat support can take your sales through the roof.