Small websites are generally the worst for missing this element and it’s generally due to one reason – finances. You can’t afford a really good designer and developer and you can’t afford a usability expert to go through your site.
A good designer and developer will be able to get the basics of usability done really well. The problem comes when you can’t afford one (or you think you can’t) so you get your mates son to do it on the cheap who dabbles with it a little bit. You then end up with a website that not only doesn’t look very good but the conversion from a visitor to a sale is really low. So the message is “pay more and get more”.
Usability is all about the journey of the user. The person hits the website and does many things. But what are they doing and how are they doing it? This is hard to know unless you use analytics and conversion tracking tools, but there are standard practices to follow that make sure you have the highest chance of converting visitors to sales.
Usability issues can include:
- People getting lost in a website
- Unreadable content
- Things in the wrong place (people expect things in certain places, believe it or not!)
- Broken functionality
- Distracting images with no value
- Unusable navigation
- Badly placed adverts
- Compatibility issues
There are two things with useability; firstly there are the issuesthemselves and secondly is finding them. I have explained some of the issues above but, how do you find out what’s an issue on your website? You will be glad to know there are many tools online that allow you to track what users are doing on your website. This allows you to make alterations and check to see the impact it has had. The hard part is interpreting the data.
There are experts who track this activity and we can help you with this. Aim one is to build the site, aim two is to get traffic and the third aim is to convert the traffic into as many sales as possible. This is where usability comes into it (and also conversion rate optimisation (CRO))
Usability is literally the difference between survival and death online. If your site is not useable then the user will go to your competitors and you will gain no sales. So when you try to cut costs up front think about the long term consequences. There are affordable, good developers available, you just need to use trusted websites like this site.
Think, act and deliver a wonderful website that your customers will enjoy using. This will ensure you get the sales you need. A good marketer will make sure your strategy will involve a good designer to help with this, and most of the good designers do this without you even knowing about it. Always ask the question to be sure though as you don’t want to end up with an unusable website that has cost you £1500.