Good website design is critically important to engage your customers. It will be the difference between success and failure of your online business. However, this does not mean just making it look pretty. With so much information and interaction whilst conforming to technical requirements it is important to provide for it all. That means making your website usable.
Some aspects of usability already discussed in our previous blog posts are navigation, precedence, and text. Here are two more important ones:
Adhering to Standards
Although websites have not been around that long when considering media as a whole, there are now expectations to consider about your visitors. For example, the majority will see underlined text or text as a different colour within a paragraph as a link. These have become standard in website design so to do this is good usability practice.
What users will actually do and need to know
When someone comes to your website design it is good to establish the actions they more likely to take. It is good practice to provide a task list menu detailing the different types of tasks people might do, goals they might achieve during their visit, and making it easy for them. This might mean having really common tasks on your homepage (e.g. ‘start shopping’, ‘learn about what we do,’ etc.) or it might mean ensuring there is a prominent search box that is always easily accessible. At the end of the day, your website design is a tool for people to use, and people like to think you thought about them in your plight to serve them.
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