Website usability refers to user-focused and user-friendly web design. Users should feel comfortable in using, navigating and retrieving the information they need. Website usability is justified when the website is interactive, interesting and informative.
Website design has different categories like e-commerce website, corporate website, educational websites, etc. These different categories have their different and diverse usability needs. An e-commerce website’s usability is entirely different from an information providing website. An e-commerce website needs several usability features like shopping cart, payment gateway, etc. that is useless for an information website. So the web developers should checklist the website usability issues according to specific website’s type and need. The important and general website usability issues include –
Page Loading Issue:
Page loading time should be fast, the standard loading time being 8.4 seconds. It is a crucial website usability issue as no one likes to wait long enough for a web page to download. It’s a nagging and tricky issue for web developers as they have to pour stuffs to make a website interesting but at the same time they have to follow the standard page loading time. Use of CSS is preferred instead of tables and images for a better page loading time.
Easy Information Retrieval:
Information retrieval should be easy. Researches show that we behave differently while reading a web content. We tend to scan the page rather than reading the whole content. So it’s better to provide crisp and highlighted contents. You can attract users with an impressive design, but it’s your website’s content that keeps them at your website and convince them for their next visit. It is the best tool to improve your search engine ranking too. Prefer using headlines, bold texts, bullet list etc.
Navigation is one of the crucial usability issues. Users have become habitual of certain web elements and layout. It’s better to follow the standard web page layout. Properly use all the standard page elements like company logo, about us, product information and contact information. It’s advisable to provide a site map for website’s having more internal pages. Proper internal linking is expected from a good website.
Restriction Free Website:
A user-friendly website means no restriction on users. Never impose any restriction on users to navigate away from your website. It is the most annoying experience for a user. When a link is opened in a new window the back button is disabled. This is a critical usability issue as most of the users are habitual of using back button to navigate. Avoid use of frame to layout your design as it may create many nagging issues like back-button and bookmarking disability, external links opening in same window or page printing problem.
Error Free Website:
Apart from the entire above usability issues, a website is usable when it is error-free and crash-proof. A single error can crash your website. Develop and design a website free from all the issues of html error, CSS error and other programming code errors.