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Top Five Usability Principles of A Website Design

Updated on August 25, 2014

Dreaming about designing a site that showcases your brand? Wonder how to make it attractive, effective, comprehensive and artistic all at the same time? Having a mere website where the bounce rate is high is not going to be of any use. The site design should attract the readers towards it.

A good user navigation will make your website look good and at the same time increase the conversation rate. When the conversation rate is high bounce rates will automatically reduce. Usability of a website will be the major criteria when it comes to success of any website which can be measured by the following principles.

Accessibility:

This is the very basic of website design. A website is of no use if it does not work when the user tries to access it. Few points that make sure the website is accessible

  • Hosting your website in a good server will ensure quick server up-time.
  • Broken links on your website will create a negative impact to your viewers. There is nothing worse than a user seeing 404 error.
  • Make sure your site is responsive i.e. It looks attractive and is readable on all devices - whether it is a desktop, tablet or mobile phone.
  • Make sure the website has a fast loading time. If the website takes forever the users would go back to Google search.

http://www.amazon.com/ - is a perfect example of a website with good accessibility.

The website hoster of this website is godaddy.com which is one of the renown website holsters. There are no broken links in the website which will make the user comfortable. The site is responsive to all the devices which ensures viability for all kinds of users. The loading time of the website is only 1.68s.

Informative:

The website should be informative to the user. People should be able to get the information which they require from your website. Having irrelevant content will lead to high bounce rate. The content is always the king - you should be very clear when expressing your brand to your users

  • Unique and simple content are mandatory.
  • Making the content heavy with technical words will make the comprehension difficult for a layman. Consider that the user is new to your brand and to your product or service, so explain to him like you would do to a child in a simple manner.
  • Explaining your products and services in a detailed manner will ensure your user's comforts.
  • Displaying the content in a creative manner is another way of grabbing your users attention.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/default.aspx - is the most apt example for an informative website.

The content has been written in a very simple manner thus making it easy to understand by all. The FAQ section is useful and the large images grabs users attention.

Clarity:

The clarity of the website is another important fact. This point basically refers to the clear design of a website which soothes the eye and leads to greater user experience. Maintaining a short and sweet way of communicating will ensure them liking you.

  • The website design should be simple and easy to navigate.
  • Maintaining consistency throughout your website in terms of font, font size, white space, color palette, images and content is another factor visitors will expect.
  • User navigation: A clear user navigation leads to a smooth user experience
  • A search box is mandatory. You do not want your website to be a treasure hunt for the user. It is most frustrating for the user to search through the entire website with no help.
  • Usage of drop down menus for the important services is a good way to keep your website’s look clean and clear. Also this will help your SEO expert to increase your rankings.

http://www.junglee.com/ - is a good example.

The website looks colorful and bright with a very simple design. The navigation on the website is very easy users to find the right deal for them. There are drop down menus and search columns which enables users to find what they need easily.

Reliability:

It is important that your users consider your website reliable i.e. they need to trust you- which is the base for any business success. Trust can be established by communicating honest and correct information without any frills and fancies.

Few points to keep in mind to build reliability:

  • About Us page plays a crucial role in a websites reliability because it helps to know more about the brand.
  • Giving as many references as possible through reviews, list of clients and testimonials.
  • Providing original content with valid reasons throughout your website will be the key factor for trust.
  • Incorrect grammar and spelling mistakes should be avoided which might also damage your reputation.

www.olay.com - this is one of the most trusted brands.

The website of the play itself is a replica for its reputation. It is well designed and excellently written. The customer reviews on the website for each product gives other visitors an eagerness to use that product. Trust is what we will get when we showcase ourselves truly to our users.

Relevancy:

Having a neat and simple website is not enough. The website needs to be relevant to the user in terms of content, user flow, ease of use.

Few points to keep in mind to make your website relevant:

  • User navigation i.e. the user finds the information that he is looking for fast is very important. Make sure the developer thinks about the website from the users perspective and not his. A good way to go about doing this is making sure the project manager draws out the user flow for the website and gives it to the developer and designer so it can lead to a website with clear user navigation.
  • Firstly, you should tell your customers who you are.
  • After that you should say about what you can do for them and how will your products help them.
  • Next to that should be the explanation of your products and its uses.
  • At least there should be a column where they can see your previous customers and how much satisfied they are with your product/service.
  • Also, you can keep a column for them to send their feedback to you.
  • And social share option should always be there. It gives power in the hands of the users.

http://us.puma.com/ - is the website which will be suitable for the best user flow.

Puma is well known brand and its website is best known for its specialized designing and simplicity of content used in it. They have a very relevant information about all their products. Their content will explain you how the content can be written in a user perspective.

These are the five Usability principles of website design. Rigorous testing of your website will ensure it has no bugs and will result in good user experience.

Which of these websites is best in fulfilling the usability principles?

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Author Bio

Tripti Chordia is the CMO at doodleblue, a boutique creative technology consulting firm. She completed her masters from Leeds in Advertising & Marketing and has worked at a few media houses prior to doodleblue. Tripti is responsible for online strategy and creative digital marketing campaigns for doodleblue. You can find her on Google+ and LinkedIn.

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