Week 1 – Website Usability Basics: 101
Hi guys, welcome to my first post! As a recent college graduate or someone who is trying to gain a grasp of the web design world, it’s important to consider website usability basics. Usability basics pertain to the idea of your website being easy to use. With that being said, two aspects to keep in mind when designing a website are:
- The Web page should be as self evident and obvious as possible
- Eliminate distractions that may confuse users and make them question how to do things
Essentially, the golden rule in designing a website is to not make users think too hard when visiting your website. Users should be able to look at your Web page and have a general idea of what the objective is, just by scanning through. It is crucial to get rid of any potential question marks when designing your website – you can do this by getting rid of things that make people think.
What makes people think?
- Unfamiliar or clever names used on a web page
- Alternatives for names should be obvious
- Deciding whether something is clickable or not
- Clickable and unclickable links should not look the same
- “Busy” web pages
- Web pages should be organized with white space and uniformity
- Unclear navigation placement
- Navigation is typically on the top or left side of web pages
- Unfamiliar placement of items
- There is typically a familiar place for most things when designing a web page
It is important to consider the abundance of question marks that can arise when designing web pages because every question mark distracts users from the task at hand. On the internet, the competition is just one click away. Frustrated users will often head somewhere else. Users spend far less time looking at pages than we would imagine – pages should work their magic with just one glance. If you can’t make something self evident, it at least needs to be self explanatory. Don’t make users have to think.