7 Ways To Improve Website Usability And Accessibility
Quick question; have you ever visited a website and paused for a few seconds trying to figure out what is what? I’m talking about one of those websites that are a pain to navigate and you can barely lift a shred of useful information from them before you quickly close the tab and move on to the next. Such websites lack usability—which is a crucial aspect that could either make or break their online presence. And considering your website is literary the face of your business on the internet, it’s not something you can afford to skimp on.
For a better perspective on the importance of website usability, consider this; Industry statistics show that 38% of users stop engaging with website immediately if the layout or content is unattractive—and 88% of them are less likely to come back after such an experience.
To avoid losing potential customers, subscribers, or followers, you need to improve the usability of your website. Read on to find out how:
1. Start with User Intent
Why is your website on the internet in the first place? To meet the needs of a certain audience, right? For this reason, your website should be designed to align with their characteristics. Put yourself in the user’s shoes—while keeping track of the best practices in your niche. For example, food blogs and travel blogs have different designs—which are optimized to meet the needs of viewers and the type of content they want to see.
2. Ensure Readability
According to an article posted in Forbes, online users are easily annoyed and their attention span is getting shorter by the day.Therefore, ensure the content formatting and website elements are designed to capture and hold the attention of readers. The trick lies in simplicity and making it as easy as possible for the users to interact with your content – i.e. make everything easy on their eyes.
3. Nail the Background Elements
Did you know that it takes website visitors 0.05seconds to judge your website? And considering the background colors, contrast, and texture are the first things you see, you need to nail them if you want to make a good impression. Balance contrast to ensure users can differentiate elements and use textures/colors that complement the niche/industry/users’ psychology. Think of the background elements as the ambience of a brick-and-mortar store. You’re instantly attracted to fashion stores that are well-lit, well-designed, and those with a complementary theme—even before you check their catalogue, right? Well, do the same with your website!
4. Ensure Seamless Navigation
Navigation is arguably one of the most important aspects of a website as far as usability is concerned. It highlights the visitor’s ease of accessing your website and interacting with your content seamlessly—even on mobile devices. Find a simple theme/layout and use it throughout your website to avoid confusions. Also, take care of the link age within your site.
5. Make the CTAs Shine
In line with the point on navigation, you also need to use CTAs (call to action) strategically to facilitate easy navigation. The idea is to use wording and buttons that nurture website users down the sales funnels and lure them to act. Whether it’s the color variations or the action messages—the CTA should be designed to appeal to the user’s psychology (i.e., evoke trust and raise curiosity).
6. Play the Image Game Right
Images must be relevant and high quality! They should appeal to your target audience and lure them to your content—rather than distract them. And take special care of the placement of images to optimize their usability.
7. White Spaces Count
As a website owner, you probably want to make use of every inch of real estate on your website—but this is not necessarily the way to go. The general rule of thumb is to find a balance between content and white space—making information easier to digest. When implemented expertly, white space can help draw attention to a call to action or a desirable element/content in your website. In fact, Crazy Egg notes that white space may increase the attention of website visitors by up to 20%. It can also set a modern and fresh look for yourwebsite.
Long story short, make your website user’s time a treat by providing the most seamless usability experience possible. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the most accomplished figures in the website usability niche—and an inspiration for many designers (including me).
“The user experiences usability first and pays later.” – Jakob Nielsen