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How Does the Usability of Your Website Affect Your Business?

In this digital age, having a user-friendly business website is one of the most important facets that determine the success of a company. Good usability can not only improve the performance of your website, but can also entice new customers, retain existing customers and boost sales. Before we look into some effective ways to improve the usability of your website, let’s try to understand what usability means.

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What is usability?

Usability, or User Experience, is the art of making your website simple, and easy to use. For your website to be successful, it should not only look good but also provide a seamless user experience for visitors, so that they can find the information they need quickly and easily. A good user-friendly website would set your business apart from your competition. At SMA2Z, we understand what it takes to build user-friendly web sites for any type of business that you may have.

There are many ways to improve the usability of your website. This article takes a look at few essential characteristics and provides recommendations that can make your website more appealing for customers and improve your chances of success online.

Accessibility

Online businesses are truly global in today’s world, so your website needs to be practically accessible at all times, regardless of time zones and to everyone including blind, disabled or the elderly. These users typically use screen-readers to access the Internet. The 508 website accessibility guidelines highlights simple web design techniques that can be applied to make sure your website can be accessed easily on-screen readers, making your website available to a larger audience.

As more and more people use their mobile phones to access the Internet, creating a mobile optimized website has become a necessity. The first step is to check how your existing website appears on mobile. You can use Google mobile site tester to find this out.  If your website cannot currently be accessed on mobile, SMA2Z can help create a mobile version of your website or develop a custom mobile app for your business.

Speed

Nothing is more annoying for a visitor than a website that takes too long to load. In fact, slow speed is one of the main reasons why visitors leave a website. Customer expectations have changed significantly in recent years. A typical customer will only wait for a few seconds for your page to load, after which they will most likely navigate away to a competitor’s site never to visit again. It also affects search engine ranking of your website and pages.

There are several ways to improve the load time for pages. Typical suggestions include limiting the number of videos and large photos, compressing the images before loading, and reducing the number of redirects whenever possible. SMA2Z has the experts that can go beyond these typical suggestions and help you improve the speed and performance of your website.

Content & Readability

Content is the most critical factor convincing users to stick around your website. Delivering content that is fresh, easy to read and interactive, is the stepping stone to making your website more user-friendly. Some common tips for improving the content and readability of your website includes right amount of text keeping paragraphs to a minimum in length, contrasting color scheme that keeps the content visible at all times, effective use of white space to make certain portions prominent on the site, using a reader friendly font and eliminating broken links.

Remember that while content is king, usability is the queen; so a good balance between the two is always necessary. The content specialists at SMA2Z can help create the most compelling story for your business that would increase customer engagement.

Navigation

Good effective navigation is one of the most important aspects of website usability. Having a clear and clutter-free navigation is the best thing you can do to make your website friendly for your visitors. Simple HTML or JavaScript menus tend to work best and appear consistent on all browsers and platforms. It is equally important for the navigation to be clutter-free. Try to limit the number of menu items as far as possible. A drop-down menu or sub-navigation may work better on large site with many sections and pages.

There is more to navigation than menu. Some other aspects to consider includes an efficient search feature, multiple ways to filter and explore content, a clear site map, use of bread crumbs to always indicate where the customer is on your site, and turning even an error page into a fun and engaging experience for your customer. The experts at SMA2Z can help you in designing and developing a web site that incorporates some of these ideas from the very beginning.

Summary:  Website usability plays a vital role in the success of a website and a business. Good usability helps to provide a seamless experience for visitors and improves your chances of success. It is one of the factors that set a professionally designed website apart from the rest. This blog provides information on what characteristics of a website can affect usability and some ways to improve it.

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