Last updated on October 16th, 2018
Websites must be user-friendly so that users have better interaction with web pages. It is only when you improve site usability that it can help convert visitors into buyers. Businesses that pay attention to any site usability-related issues and resolve them grow steadily.
If you have a website for business, one of the tests you must conduct on it is to know where it stands in terms of usability. But what does usability exactly means?
Usability is all about the experience of users when they come to a website to get information or buy products or services. A website with excellent usability means the users have no issues while navigating through the pages or accessing the information. But if the user is confused about what to do next on the site, then there are some problems with the site.
Serious websites that understand the value of retaining the visitors, address the usability issue professionally. There are already some key parameters set by the experts to judge how the users are going to feel at a site. Many studies have proved that the conversion rate improves significantly after redesigning a website.
According to a survey conducted by Nielsen Norman Group, the Key Performance Indicators were up by 135% of websites when their site usability was revamped. This shows that improved usability is directly linked with a better conversion rate.
But before you consider taking measure to improve your site usability, test your site to know where it is going wrong and which of the aspects need to be corrected.
Use Tools To Test Your Site For Usability
Before you set out to improve site usability of your web pages, check it for its performance. Many usability testing tools can help you in assessing your site. Here are some essential tools.
a) Mouseflow – Records your visitors’ behavior
b) Clicktale – Record the users’ behavior on your website
c) Crazy Egg- Get a scroll map and scroll map of the site
d) Visual Website Optimizer – It is good for A/B testing, heatmaps, landing page analysis, and split URL testing
e) Browser Shots – See your website design on several browsers
f) Open Web Analytics – Track and analyze how people use your website and application
g) Pingdom – Check your website speed
h) Five Second Test – Measure people’s first impression of your website. It shows the site for five seconds and then asks the viewers to record their impression.
i) Usabilla – Get live user feedback and know why people are leaving your website
j) Qualaroo – Ask targeted questions to the visitors in real-time to improve the usability of your website
k) User Input – Get actionable feedback from real humans in your niche market.
Once you pinpoint the usability errors, you can address the problem.
Here are some tips to improve usability to give a boost to conversions
01. Give Fewer Choices
Psychologists have proved that if people are given a lot of choices, they take more time to decide which option is the best for them. So, if there is an increase in the number of options, the decision time for the individual also increases. In other words, if there are many choices displayed on your website, the users will take more time to take the desired action. But fewer choices may encourage them to make the buying or any other desired action.
For example, if you give fewer navigational choices in your website’s navigation bar, it will boost conversions. You should not provide too many links as choices to the users. Otherwise, they may show their disinterest by leaving your site. This ultimately will harm your efforts to build a true brand identity.
But navigation is not the only issue to address in terms of giving the choices. The users make many other important decisions when they are on a website. They want to decide whether to leave a comment or share your post on social media or download your lead magnet. They also might be choosing between browsing for products or reading product reviews and making a purpose. Also, they will look at different headlines to find out which blog post they want to read. These are only a few out of dozens of decisions that our users need to make.
To boost conversion, you should be limiting the choices for the users. You can easily do this. Just introduce a full-screen welcome gate designed on your homepage. This gate will cover your entire screen, and there is only one action for the users to take on the screen. They can scroll down the page for more choices.So, give only a few choices to your users if you wish for better conversions.
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02. Follow The Rule Of Thirds
When users come to your website, what is the one crucial thing for them to notice immediately? The users will see or read that thing instantly if it is put in the right place. According to the industry experts, you should follow the rule of thirds applied in all graphic design ideas to get noticed.
Under this rule, a frame is divided into three equal parts horizontally and vertically, forming nine squares. The essential element that you want to highlight should be placed at the edges of the innermost square to grab the attention.
This implies that a crucial slogan, image or any other element that reflects your business attributes should be placed at the four middle intersections on your web page screen.
So, place your share buttons, call to action buttons, or other crucial elements at the intersections to catch the user’s eye from graphic design services.
Also, make sure that there are no other distracting things such as navigational bar near the intersections. This will help the users take the decision quickly.
03. Simplicity Is The Key
Assess your web pages for its simplicity of layout and web page design. The user should look at the page and like it. That is the first and foremost aim of keeping the page free of clutter. Such a simple page looks aesthetically great as well.
Simplicity is directly related to being user-friendly. It also means that you want to bring the attention immediately to the most important element on a web page. For example, if call-to-action is the element that you want the user to focus on, then remove most images and text from around it.
Most homepages of global business websites are simple. Look at Google homepage. There are only the company name and the search bar in the middle. There is not much else on the page.
04. Pay Attention To White Space
White space is another design element that if applied can ensure better conversions. Known also as negative space, it is the empty space in between different elements on a web page. For example, if there is a good space left between an image and a chunk of text, it is a good use of space. Space gives relief to the eyes from the stress that is build up when consistently seeing a congested space.
The user will leave the page if it is cluttered with many elements in a small space. But if the images and text have a good space between them, users will see the page for a bit more time. So, have sufficient space between your header and content, sidebar and content, and image and text.
Also, make sure that not even a smaller element is cluttered. Keep a reasonable distance between paragraphs, lines and text, and between letters.
Space makes your web pages scannable which is vital for conversions. Remember that the importance of negative or white space be gauged by the fact that it is followed as a design principle by a logo designer as well.
05. Check Page Layout
Check if your web page layout is good enough for conversions. Several studies have precisely mentioned the importance of the F-layout. Consider giving your page an ‘F’ pattern on the screen. This pattern is now popular because of the studies about how users’ eye moves when scanning a web page or a mobile app design.
It has been found that users first have a quick look at the top of a web page from left to the end right side. Then, they see the page a little downwards gradually. The bottom right of the page gets the least attention.
This should prompt you to place your most important information at the top. So, place your call-to-action button at the top of the web page, preferably on the left side. Place your top headline also on the left-hand side. You should place less important information like sponsored ads in the sidebars on the extreme right side. Check your web page and ensure that its layout is perfect for conversions.
06. Choose Color Scheme Wisely
Colors evoke emotions. Keep that in mind when checking your website to improve site usability. Find out if your web pages have the right combination of colors. Your brand has a message to convey. But are the colors evoking the right emotions that reflect your brand message? Know which colors will ensure better conversions.
You should hire an experienced graphic designer who knows how to convey a message using a set of colors. The designer will also correct any faults regarding the use of colors for contrasting effects. If background colors are not appropriately incorporated, it fails to catch the eye. Remember that text, call to action buttons, and other features must be visible instantly on a page if colors deliver an excellent contracting impact.
07. Check Your Page Load Speed
When surfing the web, people are usually impatient as they have many choices to make. They want to immediately migrate to the next site if something is wrong with the present one. Similarly, if a website takes time to load, they will click to the next link and visit your competitors’ sites. The page speed, including your social media page load speed, is another essential thing to check to improve site usability.
Therefore, check and ensure that your web pages load quickly. According to some studies, you will lose 7% conversions if there is a delay of merely one-second in the loading of your site. So, check your page load speed regularly and make sure that you troubleshoot the issue. There are many free tools available online to assess your page load time.
08. Get Attention In Seconds
A rule of thumb is that the user should be able to pay attention to your web page fully in merely 8 seconds. That is the standard attention span that modern people have when they look at web pages and other things.
So, you have only a few seconds to grab the users’ attention when they first land on the site pages. Here are some points to improve site usability by grabbing the users’ attention quickly.
- Use a brief but benefit-driven headline
- Your signup buttons or call to action buttons must be larger
- The images should be eye-catching
- Engage readers by using power words
- Use interactive multimedia like video and audio
- Engage visitors with animated pop-ups that are interesting
09. Follow The Law Of Similarity
There is a law of similarity that most designers follow. According to the law that was created by psychologist Kurt Koffka, the human brain and eye like the familiar objects when they are put together. This way, the brain makes sense of the things.
Therefore, to improve site usability of your blogs such as design blogs, for better conversions, make groups of similar items together on your webpage. These items should associate with one another and in close proximity on the pages. For example, you can put your impressive testimonial closer to some form that you want users to fill out.
This way, the users will associate the two as they are put closer. It boosts the chances of people filling out the form.Similarly, group the main elements such as the description, headlines and opt-in button of your signup page. This tactic is great for conversions.
10. Use Faces
When we see a human face, we are charged up with emotions and react accordingly. So, incorporate a face on the top of your web page for better interaction and engagement, which leads to better usability and conversions.
Your blog content, testimonials, case studies, landing pages, out-in-pages should have human faces that convey a message. These are the key considerations to improve site usability to ensure better conversions. Once you have put in place these measures, the visitors will find the site more useful.
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Your website pages must be user-friendly to improve site usability for better conversions. To ensure it, build a simple website page with the right color scheme. Give fewer choices on a page for better users’ focus. The page layout, the use of human faces, and grouping of similar elements together are other tactics for better site usability.