Website Usability: The Importance of Being Earnest | Cardinal Path Blog
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Website Usability: The Importance of Being Earnest

Having worked in the web usability field for some time now, one of the things that strikes me like a violently wielded sledge hammer, is the consistency of usability errors to be found. Like a dripping tap or an irritating car alarm being ignored by all and sundry, it appears that the flagrant avoidance of elementary usability conventions is all too acceptable.

Frankly, such utter disregard for the usability health of a website is sloppy at best and contemptible at worst. It may seem a little odd to highlight small, simple things, but as a literary genius once said, “I love simple pleasures; they are the last refuge of the complex”

Here, for your edification, entertainment, information, amusement, gratification, enlightenment, pleasure and general satisfaction, is a brief list of the most common errors. Incidentally, they were chosen due to the fact they are the ones I consider to be the most irksome, cloying, drudging, repetitious, routine, stupid, tiresome, trite and vapid of them all…

  • Poor search function
  • Inability to change text size/illegible text
  • Forced registration before purchase
  • PDF Links with no warning
  • Auto-playing of videos
  • Useless splash screens
  • Broken links
  • This less than magnificent seven represents the tip of the virtual iceberg. Blunderingly bothersome usability issues are more than just irritating; they are more often than not, directly detrimental to your overall online sales success. People who shop or look for business services online are most likely to be more than competent with online transactions.

    Thus, the irritation of sub-standard usability is something which could leave them to depart a website fairly rapidly, never to darken their virtual doors again. With a plethora of options for almost every product or service imaginable, ensuring that you operate a desirable and user-friendly online destination is, like a cold beer to accompany a hot curry, of paramount importance.

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