Internet is ruling our minds, for everything, we rely on Google search. So, these days every service provider or businessman owns a website to market his goods or services. However, what meets the eyes is just a glimpse of what goes behind scenes. Owning a website and making it famous and successful isn’t just in everybody’s reach, however, a wise planning can get any task done successfully.
When, as a layman, we talk about starting a website, the only thing that comes into our mind is web designing and purchasing a domain. However, to make your website successful it requires wise planning and user friendly approach. The key element to make your website successful is to increase website usability.
A website usability determines the success of website in terms of search engine ranking, user satisfaction, and number of visitors. For increasing the usability of a website, the whole web design and development work should be centered around user viewpoint. We have to plan everything as per user’s mind and experience. This is very easy, as we all are users/visitors of websites.
Characteristics of a user Centered Website
A website which ranks high in terms of usability has certain characteristics that should be kept in mind from the very start of website design and development.
- A website high in terms of its usability is very responsive, which means a user doesn’t need to visit the website from his desktop only, but can access it anywhere from any device like smartphone, tablet, notebook and the website even loads from a slow connection.
- A highly usable website should be always available and accessible. No matter how rich your website is, in terms of its content, it becomes useless if a visitor cannot access it. There are many factors that can affect availability and and accessibility of a website like server uptime and broken links. A user shouldn’t get an error while loading your website and your website should have rich links. Any dead link in your website will send visitors back to google search results.
- Clarity of a website is precursor for making it highly user centered. Every visitor has some specific information which he wants to search from internet. The more clear and straightforward a website is, in solving the doubts of customers, more it will be ranked in terms of its usability.
- Credibility is the secret of success in any human endeavour; if a user finds your content credible enough to resolve his queries and share it with other people, he will surely rely on your website for future references and will refer other users as well.
Now, after understanding the importance of website usability, it is necessary to use some pragmatic approach to know about user experience (UX) and work to increase it. For this purpose, we use usability testing that tells us about the performance of our website. People enjoy using intuitive and easy to navigate websites and dislike confusing websites. This is logical, and everybody being an internet user knows it.
Tools for improving usability of a Website
There are certain tools that can help in increasing usability of a website, by either identifying problems in web design and development or by gathering user experience through feedbacks and tracking user activities. Here are few useful tools and online usability testing services:
- Feedback Army: This helps in getting quick feedback from users by asking them questions about your site, so that you can increase your user experience based on the feedback.
- Google Website Optimiser: This free tool from Google collects various content elements from your website, ofcourse with your permission, and sends it to different users in random combinations, at the same time tracking how each combinations converts.
- Clickheat: This tool helps to generate heatmaps (graphical representation of data, where individual values are shown as colors) of all the clicks made on your website, so that you can improve it on the basis of that heatmap.
Success of a website isn’t dependent on how well you present the website content, but how well you are able to present according to user experience. The usability of a website cannot be increased overnight, but requires constant monitoring and improvement.