design

5 top ways to test usability on your site

Test and improve your site's usability

Test and improve your site

When it comes to your website you want it to be a user-friendly, interactive experience. That is why usability on your site is so important. It could be the defining factor between a sale made and a sale lost. Here we discuss some useful ways in which you can test the usability on your site effectively.

1- Focal point
First and foremost you will need to assess which aspect of your site you wish to test the usability on. For example if it is the design and layout of the site then the approach will be totally different from testing on interactivity. If it is the design and structure you wish to test the usability on your site on then you need to concentrate on colors used, layout of web pages, presence of site map, whether important aspects have been highlighted or not etc.

2- Clear structure
The next aspect you need to focus on is whether the site has a clear and minimalist design or not. Today Web 2.0 strategies on web design clearly state that a well designed site needs to have a central structure and layout with minimal distractions. Thus when you are testing for usability on your site you need to assess if the web pages have been designed keeping the central theme in mind or not. Otherwise your user could easily get distracted from the central topic of your website.

3- Do not clutter the home page
Your home page is your ticket to page ranking on popular search engines. Search engines do not recognize flash or other fancy software. Instead they only recognize plain and simple text. Many websites clutter their landing page with unnecessary information and flashy images. Doing so just takes away from the central message you want to get across to the user. Therefore while you are assessing the usability on your site make sure to keep the home page clean and easy to understand.

4- Getting the message across
This aspect of usability on your site will depend a lot on what type of website you have. If you have an information portal like a Wiki site for example, then the focus should be on providing information rather than any commercial promotions. On the other hand, if you are selling a particular range of products on your website then usability will focus on coaxing the customer to purchase. In order to get the sales rolling you need aspects like call to action, highlighting the important discounts or promotions happening and generally listing out products with thumbnail images for better readability.

5- Get other people’s opinion
You may think your website is the best in the world but it always helps to get a third person’s perspective on things. Hence make sure to ask your friends to test the usability on your site. Let them provide their fair and honest opinion of the site and take their criticism constructively. This way you will be able to optimize and improve on your site much better and will have a user friendly site.

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