The most beautiful website on the planet won’t work if your visitors can’t effectively use it. Usability is extremely important in website design and can make the different between getting a donation – or having people spend time on your site.
- It makes sense: There’s a reason Apple is more successful than Windows – and it isn’t just about looks (link to previous post). Apple is designed to be intuitive – as should your website (link to article discussing this). Your website should be easy to navigate and have a logical hierarchy. Users should be able to navigate around your website from every page (navigation menus on every page) – and they shouldn’t have to click “back”. Try to have no more than 5 navigation items in any menu and make sure there is a search field so users can look for things they are having trouble finding. (change tone to “it’s intuitive” versus it should be)
- It’s accessible: Not only does it work in any browser (and on mobile applications) – but it also is accessible to no/low vision users and those with limited mobility (link to previous post about this). It also should be readable (font size, font type, line spacing are optimized for readability).
- It doesn’t waste users time: Downloads are quick and in the appropriate format (PDF versus Word) and the website loads quickly because of optimized graphics.
- It has the information people need about your area: Your content was developed by your own staff and has all the information someone would need to know about your topic. Your site has links and resources for more information, and citations to support facts.
Photo Credit: Daniel Kuperman