Web Usability & Website Optimization

Web Usability and SEO
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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Web Usability- Why so Important?

Web Usability or Website Usability is the measure of quality of a website. And there are several factors that makes a website usable or unusable:
1. Downloading Time - If the page size is big, it will take considerable time to download and most of web users still use low speed Internet connections, such users will eighter close such website or never visit again.
Solution -
Avoid using heavy Images
Avoid Flash
Keep the size of a webpage well below 50k.

2. Navigation - If a website has product of users interest but the user couldn't find it in max 2 or 3 clicks, most probably he/she will get frustrated and leave the website and never come back.
Solution -
Use easy navigation throughout the site, preferably Text Navigation.
Use two sets of navigation on every page, one at top or top-left and other one at the bottom of the page.
Have a Site Map page on the website.

3. Content of Interest - Content is King. It increases re-visits. Good content at best visible place on a webpage is the most important factor for converting a visitor into a customer. If a website has poor content or has no content, more chances are a user won't revisit the site, on the other hand if a website has good content but not placed at good location and its hard for a visitor to read it then also its bad for a site.
Develop great content for your website.
Keep changing the content once in couple of months, search engines and visitors like fresh content.
Place content at prominent places on pages.

4. Resolution compatibility - Most of users are still using 800X600 Display Resolution, so every website must satisfy common display resolution criteria. If the website is designed keeping only 1024X768 or higher resolution, then you are loosing many many customers.
Make your website compatible in generally used display resolutions.
Test it atleast with 1024X768 and 800X600 resolutions.

5.Browser Friendly - Many sites looks cool in Internet Explorer but gets bad look in other major browser such as Mozilla, FireFox, Netscape etc.
Before launching the website, test it in all major browsers.
Take appropriate design steps if its not compatible with any of major browser.


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