8 Steps to improve User Experience Of Your Website
All the glitters is not gold. Well I totally agree with it. If a website looks great but does not provide amazing usability and functionality, then chances are very little that it will be successful. So keeping these things in mind and working on them is very important. You should always try to keep the navigation of the website as simple as possible so people can easily browse through your website.
According to some people it is impossible to have both, a great looking site and amazing usability — which obviously is not true. You can boast both of these things in your website, and al you have to do is to keep the following points in mind:
1. Make Changes In Your Designing Methods
Stop designing a website on table based layout, instead go for CSS based layouts. CSS based layouts are a lot better than table based layout as they are supported by almost every Internet browser, which simply means that you will get more traffic as compared to table based layout.
CSS designed pages also utilize less bandwidth to load, so they load quite fast. This fact lets you enhance the usability of your website. Such pages will index a lot more quickly in search engines. And as you know, happy visitor means he is more likely to return again — and that is what you want!
2. Befriend the Feedback
The most important factor in a websites success is visitors, so it is quite significant for you to know what they think of your website. They should definitely be provided with a way to contact you and provide feedback, but make it a point to keep that method easy and simple. Your contact form should be simple and to the point. If you will keep it long and complicated, then most of the users wont use it and in turn you would lose a customer. One awesome thing you can do is to put down an email address of yours so users can send you an email there.
3. Get a Specialized Search Engine
If you have a website, then you must have heard the term SEO. SEO basically lets you increase the ranking of your website on different search engines. Big websites can obviously include a search engine, but if you can not afford it, then you should go for Google free services.
4. Let Users Make Changes
Not everyone will be comfortable with the font size you have on your website and this is the reason why users should be provided with an option of resizing the text. This will not only be convenient for them but will also make them happy. Make it a point to not restricting your website by using pixel-specific text sizes as that will hinder internet explorer users from resizing the text. Each and every user will not be aware of the fact that sizes are re-sizable but you need to give them a feature so they can make changes according to their wish.
5. Consistent Navigation
If you want to increase usability, the first step you have to take is to try to make the navigation as simple as possible. A user should be able to go from one page to another without facing any issues. Things should also be easy to comprehend and a user should be able to navigate from one page to another and return to home page without any issues.
Everything, from tabs to menus to pictures, should be consistent. Is a user does not know how to go back to the homepage, then you are not successful in providing an easy navigation. So make a website that is easy to use and is comprehendible. If users will like your website, they will surely come back again.
6. Take Advantage of the Links
Sometimes designers create navigational menus without any text and only with the images. In cases like this, many users face problems as if they are browsing with images turned off, they wont be able to see what the image says. This will not be only confusing for them but also quite annoying. And as many users are not tech savvy they would think there is something wrong with your website and won’t ever come back. So in short, make it a point to use text in the links, as even when users can not see the images, they can still read the text and get what the link is for.
7. Avoid Flash As Much As Possible
I agree on the point that flash intros look really great whenever you visit a website but we will also have to agree with the fact that the slow down the speed of a website hence it takes a lot of to load. A user will think your website is slow and it will also affect the usability of your website. Honestly, no one has enough time to wait for a page to load and see the flashy images and you will see a lot of visitors leaving without even entering your website. If you have a website with a target audience of high speed connections than you are allowed to use flash intros otherwise for me, it is a big NO. You are supposed to make life simple of the users and not more difficult.
8. Usability In Different Browsers
This one is very improtant. Not every user who visits your website will be using the same browser. So you have to test the usability of your website on all the popular browsers. You have to make it a point that your website runs on all the browsers without any problems and look almost same in all of them. When trying various browsers, make sure that pictures load nicely and every link works. Nothing is more annoying for a user than broken links and error messages like “page not found”.
Although it is very important to have good quality and original content on your website, but it will not be wrong to say that its usability is much more important. This is because of the fact that if a user won’t be able to use your website how will he read the content? Every website is created for users, so user experience is the most important factor in its success. Keep the points mentioned above in mind and ameliorate the usability of your website!