In the present scenario where ‘word of mouth’ is the most powerful and the most effective weapon that one can use against one’s competitor, it may act as an add-on to the reputation of your site, or it may prove a nightmare as well. You must know this;
“Bad news travels fast. A dissatisfied shopper tells around 10 other people about the shopper’s bad experience.”
Every now and then, and almost every second, one or the other individual visits a website and its really common. It has become a part of our daily routine and you never know who accesses your site, at what point of time and it becomes a hype. Now, it all depends on you, your designer or may be the development agency you opted for… and the kind of usability your web site tends to offer. On one hand, designing a website and then, just making it live on the web, and on the other hand, considering its usability factor in mind that assess the quality attribute are two different things altogether that need to be implemented on the same front because;
“Usability is critical for any application, but for mass-market software, usability spells success or failure more clearly than any other feature.”
Though most of the website owners have a crystal clear idea that these are the points that needs to be kept in mind while making a ‘good’ website; A clear-cut navigation system so that the user does not find as if he/she has entered into a maze. The content ought to be precised and containing every information within it, a site map, and, a but obvious, user-friendly search function so that it is easier for the visitor.
Stepping into the shoes, lets say, an ordinary visitor becomes a very general, yet the most important stepping stone to the success of your site. But the question arises on the usability of the site. How easy user interfaces are to use—
Is it simple enough? Is it easy for the customers to find their way? Do the content of the website says it all? Is it informative? Or, is it simply marketing? If they can re-establish proficiency? Has the site been thoroughly tested again and again? Does you website provides satisfaction?
In a nutshell, learnability, memorability, efficiency, errors and satisfaction are the keys to ensure the same. Usability is all about allowing your website to speak the language of the visitors, that sounds familiar and natural in a way that they should feel comfortable while taking a stroll through your site. It should compel the visitor to explore your site in the best possible way and that, in turn, would make way for a handsome business. In today’s world, where online shopping has more become a need rather than just a fad. Lets say, for instance, you are looking forward to buying a new laptop for yourself and but of course, you choose the online mode. Quickly and easily, you find one for yourself, you make the payment and at the same time, you are happy, excited and pleased to receive it. Now, at the same time just imagine if you have had a bad experience, in terms of what you call it, “user experience.” Lets say, while you were visiting the site, unnecessary pop ups were there, which were the sources of distraction, and had ample of dead links. A lot of flashy images— puffy advertisements, not at all merging with the concept and the basic motto behind the site. What would you do in that case? There is no denial to the fact that you would automatically drive away from the site. And, to tell you the fact that these were just the initials.
It has been witnessed that within the last few years, usability has become a major concern for the web developers and the companies try their level best to hire proficient web developers in order to achieve the same. Therefore, it becomes really essential in terms of the usability of the website to keep in mind the following points that have been elaborated that would actually help you bait potential customers to your site—
Pop-ups are the Irritants:
To be very frank, and being a user myself, pop ups turn out to be the biggest irritants while one visits a site. You are browsing the site and all of a sudden, the moment you move on to a page, a pop up appears and that too, being ‘out of the box.’ Just think about it… does it make sense to interrupt the session? Even if your site’s pop up contains the most useful piece of information, but as far as my understanding of the psychology of human mind is concerned, it creates distraction and won’t be paid attention to. The chances are high that the potential customer may get irritated and drives away. It has been seen that most of the browsers these days, use a pop up blocker— IE, Safari, Mozilla, and others. So, I think it would be a fair enough idea not to use such pop ups so as to prevent losses in the long run.
What happens if you land on a web page and you are exposed to a new web service that leads to the dead end. There, not even the clicking ‘cancel’ or anywhere on the site does not help. You do anything, either by clicking on the browser window or even the ‘?’ that appears on the left side, is of no help. Don’t you think you are driving your visitors away from your site?
What about those blinking images:
Time is the biggest constraint and to tell you very frankly, almost no reader is interested in those flashy images and advertisements. And, everyone wants to read the content and don’t you think it would be hard to concentrate on a single element? Obviously you cannot really avoid advertisements, but it would be actually right if you place them in the right place so that it does not become a hindrance in the very heart of your web page.
It would be a lot more easy for both, the users as well as the designer— in terms of the navigation if you talk about, because vertical space is a big no-no for sure. And, the sliding menus immediately force the visitor to lose focus on the link that the visitor chose. What appears to be interesting and some sort of an innovation, turns into a disaster. Instead, Drop-Down menus are of a big help. They are crystal clear and offers a wide scope of detailed navigation without losing the focus, and the unnecessary hassles.
About the other Ambiguous Links:
The designer should try and be precised while creating links that should lead to the particular destination. Ambiguity should be strictly prohibited. And, one thing in particular, let the visitor choose if he/she wants to open the link in a new tab or not? It totally depends upon the visitor. You do your bit of work, ensure no broken and ambiguous links, and allow them to open in the same window.
Last but not the least, make your website and you, approachable to the visitors. Open the doors for suggestions and feedback so that your designer and the development team can work according to the needs and requirements of the customer. If a website is ensured about its usability, then, it automatically leads to – Increase in productivity – A witnessed boom in the sales and revenues. – The development time and the costs are considerably decreased. – Customer Satisfaction, in turn.
There is no harm carrying out the usability testing for a website once in say two weeks, because ultimately, who is responsible for fetching down dollars for you, generating those large profits… your website! And I had read somewhere that if a customer cannot find the product, he/she won’t even buy it. And, as we have already mentioned that ‘word of mouth’ is the strongest weapon and a single negative say about your site can drive away those hundreds of potential and quality customers, who in turn could have added on to the list.