No matter how glamorous or technically advanced your web design is, your priority still needs to be usability. Usability is simply a measure of the quality and ease of the experience your user has on your website. Driving users to your site and on to your business is essential, so your website user experience should be smooth, easy and appealing. Here are the top three mistakes that web designers make when it comes to usability – and how to avoid them!
- Content that is difficult to read.
This is usually for one of two reasons – either you have a case of bad copy or the colours/graphics you’re using are causing confusion and eyestrain. In the first case, calling in a professional copywriter who can refine your content can easily rectify this. Otherwise, you have to take a look at your website design and find where it is going wrong. Are the colours too bright or too pale? Is there enough contrast between the background and text? Are there lots of pop-ups or other elements that could distract or confuse a user?
- Unnoticeable links/link confusion.
You know you need plenty of clickable links – from menus and pages to internal links – in order for your website to work effectively and rank. The problem comes in where often these clickable elements are too small, clumped on top of each other or don’t stand out enough from the text in order for users to see and use them effectively. To make any clickable area bigger, simply increase the size of the link so that it stands out or improve the padding around the link.
- Too many pages.
Pagination is a great design tool when it’s used properly – when it isn’t, it can be a disaster for usability that will chase your customers away. Many sites misuse pagination in an attempt to get more page views but it can in fact decrease SEO in other areas by diluting your content and reducing the number of relevant keywords, causing the pages to rank poorly. It also affects usability as browsers can struggle to process and load the site and users have to click through far more pages than they’d expect to try and find the information they want, leaving them frustrated. Rather keep a balanced perspective when it comes to pagination and keep your pages specific, concise and useful.