Website usability or user experience is not an esoteric discussion amongst designers who yearn for a pretty online presence. Rather, it is an approach to make a web site easy and intuitive to use for the end-user. If information is presented in a clear and obvious way, then visitors can easily navigate toward the right place for a mutually beneficial outcome also known as lead conversion.
Instinctively we humans know when something is visually off. Let me give you an example: imagine driving on a city street and coming upon a yellow stop sign. You’ll probably recognize the octagonal shape and the words”stop.” Whether you stop or not is another matter.
Here’s an online example. A company spent a lot of time and money making sure their branded colors were represented. They adhered to graphic standards so it had a consistent look and feel. However, they failed to recognize website usability. The call to action (“click here for a quote”) was the same color as the navigation bar and their logo. The result: it was visually lost and no one clicked on it.
It’s easy to be myopic in regard to our own website usability. It’s not because we aren’t smart. It’s not because we aren’t strategic. It’s because we aren’t the user. In his DIY Theme post, Derek Halpern of Social Triggers really hammers on this point.
So, how can you make sure that your website’s usability is user-centric? Do A/B testing. Try out variations to see how they perform. If you’ve got enough traffic on your site, consider installing ClickTale so you can view actual user behavior. This amazing program provides heat maps so you can see your website’s hot and cold spots, and where you’re missing mark.
Does your site have the equivalent of a yellow stop sign? If so, we’d love to see it.