Basics: Making your web site usable

Article covering web usability, what it is, why it is important that your web site is usable and how to achieve it.

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Written by Javier García on March 9th, 2006 with comments disabled.
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Almost everybody has ever heard of usability, but not everybody knows what it really is or why it is important for web sites.

What is web usability?

First of all, usability is not exclusive to the web. It refers to the relationship between tools and their users, so it is applicable to practically any field.

Usability is usually defined as the measure of the ease with which particular people can employ a particular tool. Within the web development process, usability is the set of techniques used during the design of the project in order to improve the ease of use of the web site to its visitors.

Why is web usability important?

Web usability is based on two main principles:

Too many odds that your visitors will leave unless you take care of your web site’s usability. Unusable web sites will harm your business in terms of: lost sales, support requirements, staff productivity…

What does web usability affect?

Broadening the definition above, usability is intended to improve different aspects of your web site making it:

What makes a web site usable?

Usability is usually only noticed when it is missing, and the best way to measure it is by making different people test your web site and checking their level of satisfaction/frustration. Though there are still some rules you can follow in anticipation to make your site usable:

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In a close future more articles will extend the coverage on web usability, but meanwhile… Why is usability important for you? What are your usability tips? Don’t hesitate to leave your comment.

Technorati tags: usability, web usability, web site, usable

Written by Javier García on March 9th, 2006 with comments disabled.
Read more articles on Web usability.

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