Website Usability Most marketers, designers and/or brand managers strive to create strong brand impressions, whether this is through a print campaign, a billboard or a website. Although website design is a lot different than print advertising, the approach is pretty much the same. If a user is struggling to use your website, he/she will not care about that 60% discount promotion. Website usability is key. If a user can use your website with minimal effort, he/she will develop a positive affinity with your brand. This positive feeling that is created (although unconsciously most of the time) is what can keep a customer or push them right to your competitors. What you may not know… Most of us do not recognize or even think about how online user’s use websites, the average user goes through almost the same mechanics listed below:
People will NOT read that autobiography you slapped together on the homepage, they don’t care when and who the founder is or what award you won… they scan for what THEY are looking for.
They Satisfice – they do not care how many customizable options you can tailor to their liking, they will choose the first reasonable option; because guess what? They do not have time!
They click click click – Ever sat at the corner of an Internet Café and closed your eyes? Do you hear a moment of silence beneath all that click click click noise? No. Users would rather click randomly until they find what they are looking for, If they don’t find it, A possible negative affinity is formed. (Ever heard of the saying; show me the meat!)
It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice”. Krug’s Second Law of Usability. What you should consider doing… Although each website has a unique brief and its own communication strategy, there are a few common pointers which will help you retain users online and would also assist in creating a positive affinity with your brand.
Rule No. 1: Less is more!
All those paragraphs you made your copywriter propose, slash them in half (and then another half) you’ll be left with that one sentence or possible word your user was looking for prior to landing on what only looks like Wikipedia’s database, and while more content sometimes can help your SEO campaigns, it is then important to design your page in a way that it allows users to skip content easily and get the most important facts…
Rule No. 2: Give the user what they want!
Regardless of what the marketing, top management, design studio’s agenda is, your main priority should be delivering what your customer needs whilst maintain your brand’s theme.
Rule No. 3: Test!
You know that saying “Practice makes perfect” – well Testing prevents irreversible stereotypes. Don’t launch a website just because you can use it, of course you can use it, you have been looking at it for a month! My former boss taught me a valuable tip “If you’re parents can understand/use it, your good to go”.
Rule No. 4: Common Courtesy!
Your customers give you their money, return the favor by showing them exactly what they are looking for without frustrating them.