Principles of Building Effective Website Usability19 June 2021 | Author: Alina Nikolaevna | 11
Site usability is a combination of various factors that affect the convenience of the resource users. The comfort of the audience should come first in the development of the interface, internal and external structure of the site.
If the visitor cannot quickly figure out the structure of the project, the arrangement of elements, and the search for the necessary information, then the likelihood of performing the target action is sharply reduced.
There are many sites of any subject, so it will be easier to find a resource where information is presented in a convenient and understandable way than to understand the features of a separate site.
Why much attention is paid to website usability issues
Many books have already been written on this topic, and not only webmasters and designers are engaged in research on the usability of web resources, but also marketers, psychologists, sociologists and a number of other specialists. All this is needed to adapt the site to the needs of the audience.
- search results;
- the length of time spent on the site;
- perception of information by the audience;
- bounce rate.
The importance of research is explained by the intensive introduction of the Internet into everyday life and various spheres of human activity. Knowledge is essential to ensure the successful operation of commercial and non-commercial projects. Factors for evaluating website usability.
Ease of operation, convenience of the project and assessment methods depend on the type of site, its focus, but in general, there is a dependence on certain factors.
Usability assessment factors
1.Targeting new users. Helps to appreciate the simplicity of the comfort of the action on the page. The negative aspects are the presence of autoplay video, audio, an abundance of advertising banners, pop-ups that cover important areas.
2.The efficiency of the resource. Indicates how quickly the user can understand the interface and structure to quickly find the desired information.
3.Memorability of the interface. Demonstrates how easy it is for a user to remember a site after a short and long absence.
4.Error rate. This is indicated by repeated returns to the original page. With the help of a heatmap, you can determine the position of the cursor at the time of clicking, which helps to understand the convenience of buttons, links and their location.
5.User's subjective satisfaction. This parameter is a collection of previous parameters and means the overall impression of visiting the site.
The issues of the convenience of the resource for the audience should be dealt with at all stages of development, launch, and work of the project.
Site usability rules
There are many web resources of various kinds, which indicates that webmasters have a lot of practical experience. This allows you to highlight a list of rules, guided by which it will be much easier to compose a clear interface for user interaction.
Simpler is better
The most important rule in developing a convenient project design. If it is possible to simplify the external and internal structure without losing significant functions, then it is worth trying to do it.
To increase conversion, it is recommended to work out the stages of the funnel in detail, excluding unnecessary actions. The increase in the transition to the target action provides an intuitive, simple, no-frills design in the form of beautiful but useless effects, widgets, modules.
The three-click rule
There are many proponents of this rule among web developers and designers. It implies that the user can go to the page he needs in three transitions or clicks. This is useful for most existing sites.
There are also exceptions: they concern large projects with a large amount of content. In such situations, it is important to ensure that the user understands the location of the pages of interest, which is decided by a well-designed site structure.
Site learning patterns
During numerous studies, the movement of the visitor's gaze was established when exploring the new site. The trajectory is developed on the basis of the standard reading model.
For native speakers of languages formed on the basis of the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet, Z and F-shaped eye movement along the resource page during a cursory study is characteristic. If in the first few seconds the user realizes that the site is useful for him, he will proceed to a more detailed study, and if not, he will close the tab.
From this it follows that it is necessary to correctly fill in the header and menu of the left sidebar. These areas should contain the main information.
Website Usability Principles
Developing from existing samples and examples has its advantages. Seeing the interface that the visitor has already encountered, he feels much more confident. This can be used to increase the level of comfort of the audience, which is actively used by webmasters. Site creators are guided by the developed principles of building sites.
The convenience of surfing the web resource is provided by navigation elements in:
- horizontal menu header;
- vertical sidebar menu.
For a simple structure, only a horizontal menu can be used, for a more complex structure, a horizontal and vertical menu. In most cases, it is advisable to duplicate the navigation menu in the footer to prevent the need for scrolling. The convenience is complemented by the presence of the "Up" button.
For large projects with a complex structure, it is recommended to create a sitemap. Tips on how to improve website usability
To speed up the search for information, the following are used:
- search line;
The goal of the audience is to quickly find the information you are looking for. The search bar helps to find material by words and expressions, filtering filters out unnecessary material, allowing you to customize the search, and tags are an additional opportunity to find material on certain topics.
The more complex the project structure is, the more important it is to use different search mechanisms. These elements should visually stand out from the general background.
No structure errors
Links and buttons to navigate to non-existent pages are implied. Unjustified expectations of the user in obtaining the necessary information when clicking on the specified link greatly spoil the image of the site, contribute to the outflow of visitors.
It is possible to detect errors when specifying links and transitions using buttons during testing of the site, which must be carried out in accordance with the frequency of resource updates.
It is recommended to abandon the standard design of the 404 error page in favor of the original design in the context of the site.
Correct design of the header
It has already been indicated that the audience pays special attention to this block. In some cases, the visitor studies only him without further scrolling through the site. This means that in the header you need to specify key information, including the navigation menu, communication methods, and other significant data.
To inform the audience about the benefits, special offers, opportunities, a slideshow of several pictures is used, each of them is dedicated to a specific purpose, for example, demonstration of USP. At the same time, do not overuse the number of slides - the visitor may simply not wait for them.
User interaction. Various means are used to interact with the audience:
- offer of help with an online consultant (unobtrusive);
- simple ordering and communication forms;
- notification of performed actions.
For commercial projects, it is recommended to create the ability to undo and correct the performed actions. This is useful in case the customer changes his mind, decides to choose a different offer, or wants to add to the order.
Adaptation for mobile devices
With the increase in traffic of mobile platforms, the feasibility of using site adaptation for smartphones increases. In addition to responsive design, this requires a global redesign of the interface, because a compact smartphone screen cannot accommodate all the elements and blocks of the desktop version.
To improve usability with adaptation for mobile devices, there are rules.
- Reducing functionality and content to the minimum required for information perception and decision making.
- Placement in one column.
- Navigation menu and search aids for mobile platforms.
- Implementation of built-in functions: audio and video communication, viewing the location on the map in one click.
- Adaptation to the needs of the audience. For example, targeting devices with a touch screen, push-button control, low Internet speed.
The set of functional capabilities of the site does not always allow the use of an equivalent adaptive design, so the solution may be to develop a full-fledged mobile version, of which there may be several.
Advertising on the website
Ad units and pop-ups in and of themselves create a bad impression of the resource, but when it comes to simple static advertising, it is worth remembering to comply with its reasonable volumes. Banners, teaser ads with inappropriate content, text ads that interfere with viewing or navigation make the audience want to close the page.
One of the types of ads can be considered self-promotion, or rather, an obsessive demonstration of hot offers, flashing buttons, a window for contacting an online consultant.
Let's sum up
After studying the material, the following conclusions can be drawn:
- Usability is an important component of the design, development, functioning of a website.
- There are well-established rules and principles for creating a user-friendly interface.
- Regular usability checks will help you find and fix bugs in a timely manner.
- To assess the convenience of the site, various tools and analysis of actions of real users are used.
The importance of usability increases in proportion to the capabilities of the site and the complexity of the structure. The convenience of the site is especially important for commercial projects.