Web page usability is a vital criteria in any web design project as it is this factor that can get repeat visitors to a website. Improving usability of web pages may not be an easy job even for the most skilled web designers. Usability based web designing is all about habit formation, it cant be achieved in one day. The designers need to gradually evolve themselves into designing websites high on usability. The following are some tips that can help web designers to improve website usability:
- See that your website loads faster. A slowly loading web page can only irritate the visitors. A website can be made to load faster through efficient coding, like use of CSS and optimal use of multimedia content.
- Make your web design simple and conventional so that people need not spend time in learning how to use your website. Don’t add flash intros about your company, this only tells the visitor that you don’t care about their time and that you are more interested in singing your own praises.
- Don’t go for too many unnecessary features, widgets, flash content, video, images etc. This can only slow up your website. Instead, use only elements that cannot be missed. You can add vital elements like those needed to get customer information like their email for example. This doesn’t mean you have to make them fill huge forms.
- Keep your website open for user comments regarding your web site’s usability. Note down these comments and make the necessary improvements.
- Avoid using irritating gifs, unnecessary background audio, pop ups, scrolling messages etc.
- Compress your images to make them load faster, you can use image optimizers to do this.
- Keep web page length to a minimum. Instead of going for one huge web page, you can have several smaller webpages that are more readable and easier to navigate. This can also help avoiding unnecessary use of the dreaded scrollbar.
- Always include a Site Map. A site map is a diagrammatic representation of the architecture of the website. A site map is not only a good way to improve the navigation in the website but also your ranking in search engines.
- Always go for contrasting Colors that can make your text more readable. Whenever you are using a dark background you need to use bright colored text. Also see that the text is big enough to be easily read.
- Provide relevant content that can be useful to the user. Adding too many advertisements and content that is not useful can drive the visitor away.
Finally, you need to do a complete usability test of your website before hosting it online. Check whether your website loads on all the popular browsers, check whether it can address the disabled visitors lie blind people. See that all links are working properly, check spelling mistakes, Load speed etc. And don’t forget to Validate your code. All these steps can improve the usability of your website and improve its popularity in a big way.