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Web usability - part two

Discussion in 'General Webmaster Helpdesk' started by lala, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. lala

    lala New Member Webmaster

    Then start by developing your sites navigational structure. As a general rule of thumb a user should not click more than 3 times to find what he/she is looking for. Use an intuitive approach. Class you sales items in sensible categories. Make sure your user never gets lost in your website. Provide clues as to where he/she currently is. Also, avoid dangling pages, where the only way out is the BACK button.

    Use a page layout, which enhances the simplicity of your navigational structure. Research has shown that the user looks first at the top left hand corner. This makes it so important to place the important bits in this area. If you decide to place special offers in the bottom right hand corner, do not be surprised when users never even get to see your offers. This is especially true when you consider the fact that some users still have a screen resolution of 800x600!

    When it comes down to the look and feel of your website, branding and corporate identity are certainly important factors. But this is not all. Type and certainly the length of a line are important factors. My love for Verdana is a trouble-ridden one as I live with a type expert. I certainly learned that Verdana might not be the most sensible choice for an article. Instead you should use a serif-font. Never place more than 12-13 words in any one line. Use paragraphs and line spacing to enable the user to quickly scan your pages. Most users only pick the bits they need. Flashing text causes irritability and if you are unlucky, this might even give the site visitor a twitch, so he automatically clicks away from your site. The user does not like colours, where you instantly search for your shades. Also, if you want to provide some valuable information, do not use text colours, which are similar to the background. Someone might think it is a bad SEO tactic.

    In the testing phase make sure you website’s response time is quick. If you employ the latest technology check that all is working properly. Use all relevant browsers to confirm functionality and look. Involve a number of colleagues or friends in the testing phase. If you can, ask some clients for their opinion. This will show them that they are important to you. Do not instruct them beforehand. Afterwards, ask them if they could quickly find what they were looking for. Also, ask what they think about the site in general. Even if you had the best planning phase in the world one or the other improvement will come up.

    After the implementation of any improvements, make sure you test again in order to avoid new shortcomings or errors. Also, it might be the case that something has been overseen before. Once you go live be aware that you are in a process called website life-cycle. There is no escape. You certainly will come back to this stage again. And I still use Verdana;)
  2. temi

    temi Facilitator Webmaster

    Excellent post lala, well done, reputation added :)
  3. lala

    lala New Member Webmaster

    Cheers :)

    It was my pleasure!


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