When visiting a website, the first appealing thing that attracts your attention may be the design, it may be simple or sophisticated, classic or modern. However, from the point of views of professional web designers or web users, it is just on the surface, a great appearance will not make sense if the website cannot help user deal with their works. A real successful website only could be shown when you look at its usability. In short definition, usability in web design is defined as the ease of use of a website, and the manner in which a user experiences the website as easy to understand, effectual, helpful and even fun.
With most of web designers and developer, how to improve usability is a headache problem. We can meet the usability mistakes at any time and to think in optimistic way, this fact is not really awful, learning from those mistakes is also vital for long-term success. We made a list of some common usability mistakes to avoid in your website project.
The truth is that almost website in recent years tend to omit the navigation. The appearance of one-pager web sites, Parallax scrolling and other technique may bring the site attractive looking but it is not very interesting or useful. It is obvious that those things only work well with the small website, a personal blog, or a portfolio website, when you decide to operate a large one, they are only the supporters and navigation is the prerequisite, the cornerstone to build the web.
The three-click rule is still useful when it comes to navigation on the web — all of your content that actually matters should be accessible with no more than 3 clicks from the main page. When you take full advantages of this feature, means of categories, sub-categories, and tags will become the effective tool for you to arrange the content. Your customers are also benefited thanks to the easy-to-find menu regardless of the size of website.
In short, it is the problem that is hard for you to read the content. We can list some reasons for this issue that are proper kerning, arrangement, color and font of text or break-down of large chunks of text. Another crucial thing we want to mention is that your text should be put at the place where it actually belongs to. Therefore, the heat map for a blog will differ from that of a forum, and an eCommerce website heat map will vary from that of a magazine site.
Non-Responsive Web Design
Although it is not a new problem but we still should refer to it. According to the data analysis, until 2014, there are over 2 billion people using smart device and this number tend to increase dramatically in the following years. There is undoubtedly that every website’s traffic nowadays comes from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. If you ignore responsive feature means that you lose almost your potential customers. It supports to find great pre-built templates that are fully responsive and customization-friendly. The adaptive design approach generally works best if you have a very large website with a lot of content.
Ignoring Search Functionality
When working with both small and large website, if you forget proper search functionality, the problem will become really serious. Search bar should be placed at a convenient place for users such as in the header of your website, possibly next to the logo, or on the top-most bar, or even near the navigation labels. Note that footer is not an ideal position to put your search bar.
Ignoring Broken Links
Last but not least, broken links and the resultant 404 errors is not often the thing focused. Although, human error or a change in URL, occasional 404 errors are increasing, besides the message “Page cannot be found”, you should fix these errors as and when they arise.
With WordPress users, Broken Links Checker plugin is always available to use. If you pay attention to this issue, your users will not be presented with 404 errors when they click on a link on your website, thereby enhancing the overall usability of your site.