Website Usability and How to Improve It

28 February 2022
Website Usability and How to Improve It

Your website might be beautiful and perfectly capture your brand, but if visitors cannot find what they’re looking for, the aesthetics will not matter. Website usability is central to every type of web design, as it ensures that your target audience will get value from your content and perform the action you want them to. What is website usability, and how can you improve it?

What Is Website Usability?

Website usability is how easy it is to use your website. For most websites, usability is how simple it is for the average person to find what they are looking for or make a purchase. Internal websites for only employees can be more complex. Many factors determine how easy it is to use your website, including how long it takes to learn where things are located, if users can remember how to use the website when they return, how quickly visitors can complete their goal, and whether users have a good experience.

Why Does Website Usability Matter?

Even if you know why your business is so special, many people visiting your website will not. When there are hundreds of competing companies on the internet, a website that is hard to use will get left behind in favor of a competitor with a more intuitive layout. Usability keeps users on your site longer and allows them to complete your goal, whether that’s making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Aside from having a positive first experience, websites with excellent usability are more likely to have repeat visitors. Optimal usability will also save you money, as you will need to spend less time and effort on revisions and adjustments to retain customers. Instead, you can use the data that you get to make minor tweaks, like placing the call to action in an even more effective spot.

What Are the Most Common Usability Issues?

Despite many businesses understanding why usability is important, there are still many errors on millions of websites. Some of the most common usability problems include:

  • Too many menu options and sub-menus that make it hard to find what you want
  • No navigation buttons that allow users to go back and forward
  • Inconsistent layout and design
  • Links that open in new windows or tabs
  • Slow load times
  • Pop-ups
  • Music and videos that auto-playq
  • Small links that cannot be clicked easily
  • Site maps that are not logically designed

The more that users need to work to understand how to use your website, the more you will lose users to other competitors.

How Can You Improve Website Usability?

When designing your website, you should keep things as clear and simple as possible. Instead of a lengthy call to action like “Call Us to Schedule Your Home Inspection Appointment,” you can experiment with shorter, more direct commands like “Schedule Your Inspection” for clarity. Fonts should be easy to read and in a pleasant color combination with enough contrast to make them immediately legible.

Use Google PageSpeed to see how long it will take for the average user to load your website. Slow loading times are one of the biggest reasons why people navigate off of websites, and many people will leave before the page finishes loading if it takes more than a second or two. Check the load time for every page on your website, not just the homepage.

Is your website optimized for mobile browsers? If not, it will be ranked poorly by search engines and offer a bad user experience. Make sure that your site loads beautifully on tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers in a variety of browsers. Page size, link size, and text size often need to be altered for perfect display on mobile devices.

User testing is a fantastic way to make sure that your website is easy to use. Ask family and friends to attempt to use your website or conduct professional usability testing for insight from random people who have no familiarity with your company. You can also work with usability experts to pinpoint errors with your current layout and site.