Website usability should be an important component when you design, update or maintain a website. The three most important stages of improving the website’s usability process are planning, testing, and maintenance. With good planning you can make sure that all the components that users need will be put into the right place, the testing process will help you make sure that the website you are creating works perfectly on all devices and browsers and with maintenance you will make sure it stays this way.
1. Plan ahead
Wireframe is a must in the process of creating or enhancing a website. By creating a wireframe, you put your ideas into one place in advance, so you can see what makes sense and what doesn’t and it can also be a useful guide to other developers working with you.
2. Less content, more story
Put a great thought into what content you should and shouldn’t put on your website. You should only include content that will help the users understand the story you are telling. There is nothing wrong with getting a little emotional here, but don’t be pathetic.
To keep your website content fresh you might consider adding a blog or news and events page and regularly update the site with pictures and videos of your activities
3. Be aware of broken links
Having broken or dead links on a website can be an indication that the website is no longer appropriately managed. Make sure to get rid of all such links, they can be quite frustrating for users if they lead them nowhere.
Use the right elements of formatting
Keep in mind that some elements of formatting are expected by your users, but try not to use the wrong ones. Don’t underline text if it is not a hyperlink. Users have gotten used to the fact that underlined text means hyperlink..
4. Simple navigation
It is important for your users to find the specific information they need on your website. Navigation options should always stand out from the rest of your website design, so they can be found quickly. Likewise, putting a search and sitemap on your website will offer your users an easier way to find exactly what they need.
5. Clear Instructions
Give your users a clear instruction on how they should use a specific feature on your website. For example, if you have an eCommerce website always make sure to provide users with instructions on how to use it.
It can be very frustrating for your users if they don’t get a response back for making some action on your website, like for example sending a message. Give your users a clear feedback that their message, or any other action, has been sent or done.
Like mentioned before, testing is a crucial part of the website development process. Test your website on different browsers and devices so you make sure that it will work and look properly for every user.
8. Keep it up to date
Don’t you have an update every week for almost every app that you have on your phone? The same goes for your webpage – follow the trends, keep it modern, responsive, user friendly and ensure it works perfectly at all times. That’s called maintenance.