Planning usability for websites

Usability in website means that there should be a user centered way of doing things in website design process. Usability should not be an afterthought. Testing and fixing a website after it has been built is useless and not likely to produce good results.

Advantages of planning usability into our website will result in increased customer satisfaction, efficiency, success, and completion and reduced long-term development, training and support costs.

Any one can design a website but it does not guarantee a competitive advantage. Potential customers have many choices. Not only are there plenty of other web sites out there but they also have the option of obtaining items, information or services, from real people either by telephone or in person. Web sites, by definition, lack the human touch so they have to work much harder in other areas to entice people in.

One most important factor in any website designing is the general impatience of web page visitors. Visitors will ditch a website if it is slow to download, if the site is not easy to navigate or they get lost.

Checking website functionality
Visitors should find what they look for quickly and easily, there should be a site map or search option in website and the site should be easy to navigate, even without a mouse.

Checking website service quality
Quality of service is defined as the level to which a delivered service matches customer requirements. Factors affecting include Reliability, Responsiveness, Reassurance, Empathy, Results.

Web usability is same as accessibility and is not a new discipline. It’s a standard practice in well-known areas of design. A good usability either goes unnoticed or is most likely part of an experience or a service.

So, the good usability will
– Keep web surfers on your site
– Increase sales
– Encourage goodwill and repeat business
– Reduce costs, maximize profits

Usability has to be an important part of the overall website design.