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Usability Mistakes That You Should Avoid

November 19, 2018 |
Usability Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Importance of usability is very well known to designers. Usable websites offer great user experiences, and great user experiences lead to happy customers. Designers must implement smart design decisions and aim at satisfying and delighting the visitors, rather than frustrate and annoy them. Here are a few usability problems and challenges that are very common across websites and some recommendations on how to cope with them.

1. Small Clickable Areas

Hyperlinks are designed to be clicked, so to make them usable, it makes sense to ensure that they’re easy to click. A lot of designers fail to make the hyperlinks clickable and thus reduce the usability. We need to make the clickable areas bigger because our hand movement with the mouse isn’t very precise. A large clickable area makes it easier to hover the mouse cursor over the link. To ensure we get a large clickable area, we could either make the whole link bigger or increase the padding around the link using the CSS.

2. Incorrect Use of Pagination

Pagination refers to splitting up content onto several pages. This is often found on websites that have long lists of items; for example, products in a store or pictures in a gallery. Using pagination for this purpose makes sense because displaying too many items on one page would make the page slower to upload and process. Alternatively, in particular cases of content pages, like blog articles, the content is sometimes split into several pages. It’s unlikely that the article is so long that it requires pagination, however, this is done to increase page views as a lot of blogs and magazines get their revenue through advertising.

3. Duplicate Page Titles

The title of each Web page is very important. Page titles are the pieces of text we write between the <title> tags in the <head> section of our HTML code. Sometimes people create a generic title while working on their website’s template, which is usually their website’s name. This is a mistake and must be avoided because it robs each page of a couple of key benefits.

The first benefit is that a good title communicates to your visitors a lot of information about what the page is about. People can quickly figure out if they’re in the right place or not. Remember that this title doesn’t just show at the top of the browser window; it’s also shown on the search engine results pages.

The second reason has to do with SEO. Search engines need different information to rank the results of a particular query. A page title is one of the more important pieces of information they use to gauge how relevant your page is to a particular search term. This doesn’t mean you should load as many keywords as possible into the title, but you should ensure that each title describes the content of the page, including a couple of words you think people will search for.

4. Missing Contact Channels

User engagement is important if you want to build a successful community, and communities are important if you want to build successful websites and social web apps. User engagement is also important if you want to build loyal customers. Quickly answering people’s questions and fixing their problems doesn’t just mean that you have good customer service – it means you care, and your customers and visitors will appreciate it.

Your visitors must be provided with an easy channel for getting in touch with you, like an email address or contact form. You could also use contact forms to bypass the problem of showing your email address on a page.

5. Too Much Functionality That Needs Registration

Your website may have some content or features that require visitors to register before using; which is fair enough, but be careful how much content is put behind this registration shield. Very interactive web applications, such as emails, document editing and project management, restrict 100% of their functionality to registered users. Other websites, such as social news websites, do not. One can browse all the stories and enjoy the functionality without identifying themselves.

When you implement a log-in barrier, be careful that you don’t lock away features that don’t really need user identification. Some blogs require people to register before posting, which is a way to deal with spams, but it will also significantly decrease the number of comments you see.

User participation on your website is affected by how many barriers there are. Removing barriers such as registration will almost certainly increase user participation. Indeed, once users start using your website, they will more likely sign up, because they’re already involved.

Usability is of utmost importance and therefore must not be compromised at all. Speak to our design experts on how you can achieve a successful web design without actually compromising on the usability front.

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