When it comes to building a website, perhaps the most important thing to consider is reader usability, and because of this, website usability tips are quite valuable. Having an intuitive, easily navigated website is a great way to ensure that users will have no problems browsing your website. Likewise, having a poorly designed website can potentially hinder prospective readers. The back button is only a quick click of the mouse, after all!
Although the appearance of your website is very important, and some people believe it’s the most crucial part of a website, it’s actually not the most important part. Usability has to be the top priority for any serious web designer. The bottom line is without proper usability your website can look brilliant aesthetically, but still cause readers to navigate away.
What is usability, anyway?
When web designers talk about usability, they don’t just mean the placement of navigation links on your website. In fact, it’s much more abstract of a concept than that. Usability means three things: intuitiveness, navigation, and purpose.
Intuitive websites are those that people can browse for the first time and immediately know how to use the website to maximum potential. Navigation is fairly simple, because without smart navigation, people might miss important pages. Purpose refers to the reason why your website exists. If there’s no reason for someone to be there, then you better believe that nobody will read your site.
Usability tips for web design
There are a lot of usability tips in web design that web developers share with each other to help the industry grow, but there are some that are kept a little quieter. The truth is, the best way to make your website usable is to pretend you are the reader and perform what’s known as research based web design. That way, you can see firsthand exactly what potential readers and customers are seeing.
Typography usability guidelines
One of the most damaging mistakes some web designers use is using the wrong fonts, text spacing, and alignments. Typography is something that can make your website look professional or amateur—there is rarely much middle ground. Make sure to always keep a professional feel to the website’s typography if you plan to sell a product or service.
Usability tips for web design
It’s very common thing for a website with poor spacing and alignments to have low levels of traffic. If your website is a blog, making readers scroll ages or click through multiple links will cause them to navigate away. Likewise, trying to cram too much information into a small area will also dissuade people. Try to find the perfect area.
Usability testing tips
In order to check your web design’s usability, you can use a variety of websites to perform automated tests for you. Examples of these websites include userfly.com, fivesecondtest.com, and so on.
Usability tips for forms
When it comes to optimizing forms, there are a few things you should consider. First, make sure you let users know about what fields are required, as this will save them time if they plan to leave some blank. Additionally, considering using real-time feedback for when an entry into a form field is invalid—this is one of the great website usability tips that makes filling out forms easy for people.
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