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Usability on the web is perhaps the most overlooked facet of web design, and the importance of usability on your website really can’t be stressed enough.  Frustration due to unresponsiveness, lack of interaction or even just plain old information overload can all lead to your users clicking the back button and moving on to the next search result.

Of course, frustrating your users is something we all want to avoid, so here are a few quick, easy and cost effective ways to improve your website’s usability:

1. Link your logo

Believe it or not there are truck loads of websites on the internet right now with no home button or link to the home page via logo, etc.  Any navigation performed at all on the website leads you further and further away from where you came with no way back.

Like watching a Ryan Reynolds movie.

Even if your site does not have a home button, make sure that your logo is linked to the home page so that your users have quick and easy access to the main page of your website.  That way, if your users get lost along the way they aren’t required to head back to a Google search to find you again… because they won’t.

2. Provide a 404 page

A 404 error is the error message that your browser displays when you visit a page that can’t be found or doesn’t exist.  It happens.  Sometimes links are changed dynamically or a file is removed from the server and you forget to update the link on the website.  When encountering a broken link, having a useful 404 page allows the user to either go back to the previous page, search for new information or navigate elsewhere on your website rather than leading your users to believe that they’ve destroyed the interwebs with a click of a button.

My gosh Bill, I guess pressing ‘About Us’ just dropped a hydrogen bomb on their server farm."

3. Distinguishable links and navigation

If a link doesn’t look like a link, how will people know to click on it?  Your links throughout your content should be identified properly.  They could have a simple color change, underlining, bolded font or a combination of things.  Additionally, having rollover states or previously visited states are always a good idea.  It allows your users to quickly identify where they’ve been, where they’re going and how they’re going to get there.

Nothing to see here.

These 3 simple tips can go a long way toward ensuring that your users are able to find the information that they want.  The more usable and accessible your website and information is, the better the chance that your users’ overall experience will leave them satisfied.

To find out more about how you can improve usability on your website, contact Point Click Media.

Fusebox Creative | 160 Millennium Blvd – Suite B, Moncton, New Brunswick Canada | Phone: 506-855-3591