Web Usability is something which has become of seminal importance to the online world. With the explosion of ecommerce and general reliance on the internet in so many ways, it is not surprising to see such a situation. Web Usability can, quite simply, be the difference between online success and failure.
The true need for good website usability basically boils down to the increasing intelligence and online savvy of the average internet user. More people than ever conduct business, pay bills, shop for all manner of products and generally use the internet as a convenient, time saving utility. For a website to facilitate this, it must adhere to conventional rules of usability and allow for a swift and seamless user experience each and every time.
Though some sites are always going to be better than others, there is no need for a giant budget or huge multitudes of people working on your site for it to achieve good usability. Rather, it is a simple case of sticking to good, basic usability principles. Such things can be ultimately rewarding for your online business, including:
- Simple, easy to use and logically ordered navigation
- Visible, accepted icons/links for things such as checkouts, shopping baskets etc.
- Consistency in identifying which text/images act as links (test links preferable)
- Search function clearly visible and functional
- Easy to complete forms for easy purchasing/membership sign ups
- Well structured pages conveying the nature and purpose of your online business
When you consider the list above, I am sure you will agree that these seem to be fairly elementary issues. Agreed. That said, it is nothing short of amazing, astounding and quite bewildering to find so many websites failing to observe these and other web usability rules. The number of people abandoning sites due to frustration, irritation and a general lack of contentment with the usability of such sites is quite staggering. When you use something such as Google Analytics, you can soon discover such statistics to be most illuminating. Harnessing the power of web usability is something that you should take seriously. Invariably, the best online businesses, regardless of their size, offer a simple, seamless user experience which in turn, creates a better business with greater results.
Your ecommerce business may be performing fine, but with simple usability tweaks, you can augment your online success in a way which may well surprise you. Small enhancements can make big improvements, or to put it another way…large oak trees from little acorns do grow.