Website Usability

What do your visitors really think of you?

It's a sad fact that many of the visitors that we spend so much time cultivating, inviting and generally enticing onto our websites, then leave frustrated due to the difficulties we put in their way. The ease of use of your website will have an impact on not only what your visitors do, but on the impression of your brand that they take with them from their visit. Often analysis of visitor analytical data reveals a sorry tale of lost opportunities, high bounce rates and poor conversion, the good news is that it doesn't have to be this way.

Walk a mile in your visitors shoes

It's a shame so many visitors to websites leave frustrated, as they are not actually asking for much, just the ability to complete the task they came to your website to find a solution for. Whether it be to find an answer to a question, find the price of a particular pair of shoes, get your postal address, or upload their holiday photos for printing, make sure that you have put nothing in their way that will stop them doing it.

Try looking at your website from their perspective, or even more excitingly ask someone else to look at your website then look at them doing it!

  • Do they understand from your Home page what your website is about?
  • Can they easily understand your navigation and how you have grouped your content?
  • Does your search facility allow them to find what they are looking for?
  • Does your content answer their questions or just reiterate your sales pitch?
  • Do they feel confident in you and have trust in your brand once they have completed the task?

Go for the easy wins

One of the most reassuring things about visitor usability, is that once the problems have been identified it is often the simplest issues to fix that provide the greatest benefit. Because many of your visitors will be looking for similar things and may well have similar experience or outlook, these simple fixes can impact on large numbers of your potential customers, improving that most reassuring of metrics, the Conversion Rate.

Create a Virtuous Circle

Once the initial problems have been addressed, don't stop there. Good usability is about constant iteration, constantly examining the usage data that your generous visitors provide you with for free, then identifying the problem areas and implementing possible solutions.

Given time this constant optimisation will pay off, not only in happier visitors but more of them, as you bounce rate goes down so your credibility with search engines will rise.

So go on, make your visitors happy, invest in some usability analysis.