No matter how brilliant your website design is, if it is hard to reach the content of your site then your website is no good to anyone. When it comes to your website, extra attention should be paid to every minute detail to make sure it performs optimally to serve its purpose. Here are some tips to improve the usability of your website to ensure it serves its functions optimally.
Do Not Use Splash Pages
Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a website. They normally have a very beautiful image with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just that — pretty vases with no real purpose. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the “back” button! Give them the value of your site up front without the splash page.
Have A Simple And Clear Navigation
You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.
Have A Clear Indication Of Where The User Is
When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Do not confuse your visitors because confusion means they will eventually leave your website.
The first thing to consider is to make sure that the typography of your content is suitable. If you have large blocks of text, make sure to use CSS to space out the lines accordingly. The longer a single line of text is, the greater the line-height of each line should be. Also, make sure the font size of your text is big enough to read easily. Some sites have 10-pixel-tall text in Verdana font; while that may look neat and tidy, you have to really strain your eyes to read the actual text.
Categorise Your Articles
Make it easy for visitors to find content that they want on your site. If you have many articles on your website and a visitor wants to find one single article of interest from your website blog, you have to provide a feasible means to enable visitors to do that without hassle. Provide an index of articles that you have, providing such a feature will make sure your visitors can use your site with ease.
Ensure that your site loads fast if you do not want to lose visitors. Most internet users will leave a website if it does not load completely within 10 seconds, so make sure your website is delivered to the visitors as soon as possible to retain their attention.
Do Not Use Excessive Banner Advertisements
Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valuable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, and let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.
Avoid using audio on your site
If your visitor is going to stay a long time at your site, reading your content, you will want to make sure they are not annoyed by some audio looping on and on your website. If you insist on adding audio, make sure they have some control over it – volume or muting controls would work fine.
Last of all, test each and every link on your site before it goes online. There is nothing more effective in tarnishing your professional image than broken links.