Website design: How usable is your website?If you have a website for your small business, you probably spent at least some time thinking about or planning its design. No matter how long and arduous the task might have been, it might be in the best interest of your business to think about your website design again.

In website design, usability is key

Good website design does more than transmit information to the viewer. The best website design approaches help users move through the website, find what they’re looking for quickly, present complete information and take advantage of the viewer’s willingness to act.

Excellent navigation, organization, pleasing visuals, fast-loading pages, device-based optimization, the right set of communication tools and content that meets the user’s needs all combine to make a website design usable or unusable. A business with an unusable website design will quickly find that customers visit, but leave without acting. A business that understands how the consumer moves through the website and what the visitor is looking for, and adjusts its website design accordingly, will find that customers stay on the website, use the website to meet their needs and appreciate what the business is doing.

There is a wide range of opinion about what constitutes “usability” in website design. The “usability” of website design is defined by technical performance, such as:

  • how much time a browser requires to load a page
  • the use of ALT tags for images, page titles, and links in HTML
  • the judicious use of Flash and other add-ons
  • font choice, size, color and spacing of the text on the page(s)
  • acceptable contrast between the background and the page text
  • dynamic web programming for mobile devices
  • navigation
  • evident consistency in website design throughout the site
  • scripted functions

Website design usability is also defined by the information and the quality of the information on the website. Does the site provide complete information? Is the contact information for the business readily available? Is the logo highly visible on the website? Can a viewer who has never seen the site before easily learn what the business is, what it does and what the purpose of the website is?
Other elements of usability include the consistent use of color and design elements, the careful and well-reasoned use of bold text, flashing text or objects, video and audio resources, pop-ups, advertisements and other “show-stoppers.”

Ultimately, the most usable website design approaches take into account the needs of the regular customer, the first-time visitor and the business. Usable website design anticipates these needs and attempts to create the best possible user experience during each visit.

If you would like more information about incorporating higher usability standards into your website design, please contact our creative director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave at Grantstreet Creative a call at (330) 243-0651 for a consultation.

Photo Credit: Lusi, via StockXchng