What is Usability?
Web usability is perhaps the most important factor in any
web design. This is the driving factor that keeps your visitors
coming back to your website. Given below are a few points
that you need to consider to increase your website’s
Points to consider for improving web usability
1.) Give your visitor what he is looking for
A visitor means business; he is looking for information and
will stay in your site as long as he gets what he wants. So
provide only relevant information. Web logs are the best means
of finding out which keyword your visitor used and for what
purpose he could have visited your website.
2.) Tell your visitor what your site is all about
Often websites are crammed with information in no specific
order making it hard to figure out what the site is all about!
Your site should give information about what it can offer
a visitor on an instant basis. You can do this by providing
relevant information on the homepage. You can also provide
links like ‘about us’ or ‘about this website’
for further clarification.
3.) Provide site wide links
Site wide links are very important in any website. They allow
easy navigation to all pages and reduce time consumed on browsing
the pages. Your user can have instant access to what he is
looking for from any webpage using the site wide links. They
also allow the search engine robots to cache your pages efficiently.
Site wide links can be provided at the bottom of all web-pages.
4.) Provide a sitemap
A sitemap is the mark of a good website. Sitemaps give the
skeleton of an entire site on a single webpage with all links.
As site maps are specifically meant to provide site information
they can lead to efficient browsing.
5.) Ensure that your website loads fast
No one likes pages that take long time to load. Your website
visitor takes decisions in seconds and it won’t take
him long to press the back button or type another address
to access other related websites. So make sure that your site
The possible reasons for long loading times are
a.) Use of large graphics, java applets, flash programs or
b.) Inappropriate use of tables, like placing the entire page
under a table
c.) Placing too much information (more than 50K) on one page
d.) Use of free or inferior hosting services resulting in
slow data transfer
e.) Use of bad or junk html codes
6.) Improve site’s navigation using icons
Site navigation is an important aspect of web usability. Making
use of unique XP style icons can really make your site appealing
at the same time adding to easy navigation. Some businesses
that offer XP style icons are http://www.icongalore.com, iconpharm.com
etc. Icongalore.com offers the best XP style icons at costs
as low as $3/icon.
7.) If your site has too much content ensure readability
Poor readability can cause your users to leave. Poor readability
occurs due to use of small fonts, poor color combinations,
long sentences, repeating background images and improper headings.
8.) Test your site before launching
Testing your site before loading is very important. You should
pick up information like site load times, navigation, information
availability, content, browser compatibility etc while testing.
a.) Test to see if your site loads in all browsers
b.) Test all links and see if they are working
c.) Test for site errors if any
d.) Test for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
e.) Test the site load times
9.) Check your server log data
You server log data is perhaps your best information source
to improve your website’s usability. You weblog can
give you information like keywords used most often to reach
your site, website downtimes, pages most visited, exit pages
etc. By studying your weblog you can find out the pages that
a particular visitor accessed and the page at which he exited.
This can help you optimize popular pages and give special
attention to pages that seem to have the most exists. Overall
studying the server log on a daily basis is very important.