As the leading Foodservice agency, we pride ourselves in delivering the best possible experience and usability for our clients’ websites.
Your website is the shop window to your business online and first impressions are key to getting your users and clients to want to know more and stick around. Obviously the design of your website plays a large part of the overall experience, but you will find a lot of websites that are beautifully designed are extremely hard to use, hard to navigate and do not work across all devices, like tablets and mobile. On the other hand there are many other popular websites that are just plain ugly, but are really easy to use and navigate.
Remember, if your users find your site easy to navigate and they can find the information they require quickly, it will help keep them on the site and with this in mind it will help with your SEO and rankings on Google.
For these reasons, usability should not be an afterthought in website design. Changing, testing and fixing a website after it has been built is inefficient and expensive. It is also unlikely to produce the best results.
Here are our 10 tips for improving the usability of your website…
1. On brand and consistent
Remember your website is one of the most important tools for your business. Make sure that it is in-line with your brand so that your visitors easily recognise it is you.
2. Design for your audience not your ego
It may be your website, but the reason you have it is to satisfy your visitors. Their needs are more important than your wants. Be consistent throughout your site, changing the navigation and structure of your site half way through will confuse most people.
3. A clear and simple navigation
A good navigation is always clear and simple. The navigation should not only group content logically, but also be clear as to what the user can expect if they follow the navigation. Avoid cryptic copy and ensure that your navigation is optimised for touch devices.
4. Keep your site clean and simple
You may attract visitors with an eye-catching design, but content is what keeps them on the site and encourages them to return. Try to keep any interactive elements to a minimum and contain them away from the content of the page so they are not too distracting. Content is also the best way to boost your site in search engine rankings.
5. Mobile friendly
Test your website to make sure it works on all devices from desktop, to tablets and mobile. Also check your analytics to see what your visitors are predominantly using to view your site and make sure that you give them the best experience and relevant information.
6. Site and page speed
Speed is important! Not only do people find it annoying to visit a website that takes a long time to load but your site speed also influences search engine optimisation. Search engines rank faster sites higher in their results.
7. Keep your content relevant
Your content should always be relevant to what your page is about. Make sure that the content and SEO keywords are in-line with each other. Search engine rankings work on relevance of keyword search against copy on the page.
8. Place your most important content high on the page
Please don’t save the best for last. Place the most important content high on the page. Think of a newspaper, the main story is always at the top.
9. Don’t worry about the vertical scrolling
There has long been a myth that pages on your website should be short and above the fold. Don’t be afraid to have long scrolling pages if the content needs it. In some cases you need to give as much information as possible.
10. Make page content easy to scan read
Visitors to your site most likely are not reading all the text on your page, they scan it. You could spend hours or days writing your page content and it’s really annoying to think that visitors may read less than half of it. Format your content so that it’s easy to scan. Emphasise the important points with headings, bullet points, bold text and colours.