Maintaining Website Usability

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

When was the last time you talked with your website visitors about their experience? Do you even know if visitors find your website user friendly? Can they find what they came for? All of these questions seem to so often be overlooked once a website begins to perform well or to provide us with the traffic stats we are looking for but consider this: if you went to a doctor’s office, just because they get a lot of business doesn’t necessarily mean that they should (or can afford to) drop their bedside manner completely..so why do businesses so often neglect to pay attention to the usability of their website over time?

Human behaviors change, they evolve and adapt with the times and as a website owner if your website doesn’t change, evolve and adapt with the user then there’s an inherent possibility that you will lose customers. It’s important to maintain website usability the same way a doctor would maintain a solid, compassionate or otherwise comforting bedside manner—throughout the career. A user friendly website can count on better conversions and happier customers so why neglect it?

If you haven’t checked the usability of your website lately, consider taking a closer look at the way your website is functioning, ask questions of your visitors and discover new ways that you can keep your visitors coming back for more. As a website owner, you hold the keys to the satisfaction of your visitors and it’s ultimately up to you to assure that your website is doing what it should for it’s visitors.

Increasing Website Usability

One of the best, and free ways that you can find out what your visitors think and feel about your website is to have someone who is completely inexperienced with the site to take a visit. Ask an individual to visit the site and take note of any problems they have along the navigation or any other feature that is contained within the site. Don’t have a friend do this (they tend to be understanding and biased)! No matter how big or small the imperfection is, have the visitor take note of it. This could include problems that they have finding out what the site is about, difficulties with finding something, trouble figuring out a call to action, color or design related problems, etc.

Once this is complete, take all notes into consideration and think about making changes. Consider small changes first. Once the changes have been made perform the same test again, have an individual visit the site and note any imperfections with their experience. If you find that there are significant navigational problems or that visitors really have difficulty figuring out what your site is about, what the call to action is or how to find things within the site, you may need to opt for a redesign.

Site redesigns are industry standard every 3-5 years anyway. Advantage Media can redesign your website and increase usability so that you visitor experience is always satisfactory. The truth of the matter is, usability and website design are ever changing. In order to keep up with the market, keep up with user and stay current with the industry, contact Advantage Media for all your website design, redesign and usability needs.

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