Easy To Understand, Simple To Use
At its heart, the Web is about information. Visitors return to websites that are useful to them. But making things easy can be complicated.
Can visitors find what they need? Are they confused? What’s going on in their heads? Those are questions that must be answered by usability testing, which involves analyzing whether someone new to a site can accomplish their goals. If not, then it’s goodbye to your site and on to the next.
When we build a website, we strive for a balance of usability and effectiveness: providing intuitive access to information while also engaging our audience in an original way. We measure and prioritize our team’s creative and technical suggestions against client goals and usability factors in every aspect of the website design and development process.
So…what are you saying?
Great designers don’t stop at graphics and images: How visitors view content is critical. So mission one is designing content that is easy to read and scan. Plenty of space around words and lines makes tired eyes relax. Headers and subheads help a reader find what interests them on the page.
Content writing is different, too. For example, writers need to move away from clever, catchy phrases, because search engines don’t understand them. Users aren’t interested in them, either. A website visitor today wants it quick, objective and to the point. They’re savvy and skeptical and much smarter than they get credit for. There are plenty of ways to tailor content to enhance usability. We consider them all.
Which are most important: graphics and images or content layout and calls to action? We believe that the best sites straddle the line between those worlds by fitting together pieces created by the right team of designers, writers and technology experts. Remember, you have about 5-8 seconds to capture someone’s attention, so your website’s appearance must:
- Be visually appealing and professionally designed.
- Enhance your brand and identity and be consistent with offline marketing.
- Be uncluttered with text to avoid confusion or turning visitors off.
- Avoid overly large images that take too long to load.
- Stand out by being original and unique, yet relate to the target audience. Don’t get lost in a cloud of look-alikes.
- Follow basic Web conventions. Don’t get cute and hide things on a page or make people guess. (They won’t. They’ll move on.)
Usability and Search Friendliness
Get the balance right
Gaining returns from a professional website requires search engine friendliness. That’s not to say that your website content should be loaded with keywords or bland, dry text. Instead it should be focused, relevant and make good use of keywords while using language that’s true to your brand and speaks to your target visitor in a voice they can relate to. This balance is best created by a professional writer who understands your business and how to develop effective content for the Web.
Usability and Site Navigation
Right this way!
With navigation, there are a few rules that should always be incorporated. For starters, navigation must have an easy and clear schema that follows common sense and logic. Confusing a visitor right off the bat is not good for business. The navigation may be cool, but if readers have no idea where to look, they will spend their time elsewhere. Likewise, navigation should be uniform throughout the website so the visitor feels comfortable going from page to page. If your navigation is understandable and unified, then usability is pleasant – and your visitors are happy and get to the information they need. It’s a simple equation for success!