Website usability: basic criteria and tools for analysis
Once upon a time there was a website. And everything was wonderful with him: customers dropped in, made purchases, business flourished and pleased the eye. But a terrible misfortune happened to him. Clients went to the cursed competitors. They didn’t make any more orders and didn’t want to use the site: they were turning their heads, they say, uncomfortable, father, your online store, you didn’t take care of our comfort, so you will not see profit and prosperity.
And the store owner grabbed his head, and he ran to the developers. Those sat for a day, two, three, knocked on the keys, looked at the monitors, and put in order the usability of the site. And unprecedented luck came to the business – there were much more sales, clients wrote good reviews and invited their friends. Just look, they say how simple and convenient it is! Everything is done for people!
How to evaluate a site’s usability: basic criteria
Site usability is not a fairy tale, but a very real factor that affects the conversion of your site. In simple terms, this is a kind of indicator of your “friendliness”, which helps to make your resource easier and more understandable for users. And why, in fact, should a site be friendly? And here everything is exactly like in life: if you have a choice of whom to communicate with, you will probably prefer an open, agreeable and responsive person. The same with the website: the presence of a lot of content made the user more demanding. Developing websites for various businesses, the RGSsoft web studio made sure from its own experience that a modern buyer does not want to unravel the puzzles of your interface. He just wants to buy a product and enjoy life. If you don’t want your target audience to wave a pen to you, then it’s time to perform a usability audit of the site. With its help, you will learn about all the interface problems that influenced the increase in the number of refusals, the absence of orders or calls. And, most importantly, it will show you how to solve these problems. We have compiled for you the main criteria for site usability. Check your resource how it meets modern requirements:
Page loading speed – within 2 seconds. As practice shows, most users click the Close button if the download timeout exceeds 3 seconds.
The presence of a responsive layout, thanks to which the resource is displayed correctly on desktop and mobile devices, with different screen resolutions and in different browsers.
The interface should be in the same style and look the same on all pages. An exception may be the shopping cart and checkout pages.
Simplicity. Your target audience should immediately understand which site they are on. This can be done thanks to the correct page title, slogan and thematic images in the header, as well as intuitive icons.
Convenient access to CTA (call to action) buttons. Provide the possibility of purchasing a product (feedback) on each page of the site. All CTAs should be visible: the buttons are large, with a clear name and a familiar layout for the user.
Optimization for the geography of Central Asia: all information should be provided in the language of the region, or the site provides for the choice of a suitable language.
Lack of media content that is forced to start: videos, background music, pop-ups, etc.
No excessive or annoying animations, flashy colors and oversized font.
Adequate buttons and links. If your button and link is designed to perform a certain action, then let it do it, and not redirect the user to some other page or not respond to a click.
End-to-end main menu. Your customers, having got to any of the pages of the website, should in a matter of seconds find all the necessary information about the product, delivery, contacts, catalog, etc. At the same time, the menu itself should have an intuitive structure.
The presence of a feedback form, as well as a button Order in one click.
The ability to log in to your resource through the social network.
The catalog section displays no more than 15 product positions on one page, which makes the perception more pleasant for users.
Actual and catchy offers: promotions, discounts, sales.
The absence of empty sections in which there are no products.
The product page has been supplemented with information about your products with a price indication. If the price cannot be specified, write down the reason why it is absent (the price is not yet known, the product is on the way, etc.)
A reminder signal that the item has already been added to the cart.
Convenient form for registering a new user. Ideally, the minimum number of fields. In most cases, people refuse to register if they need to rewrite their entire pedigree into this form.
Personal account, where the user can view all their previous orders.
After payment, the user receives an appropriate message, which confirms that this operation was successful.
All textual information on the site must be readable. No pluck-out flowers or gothic zombie fonts. The texts themselves should be short, concise and without water.
All graphic content on your website must be of high quality. Use crisp images, and only post them when you really need them. The option “let it be a picture for beauty” is not our case.
We have written the most basic points of the site usability analysis. In fact, there are many more. Therefore, further we will talk about what tools are used in order to test the web resource.
Website usability analysis tools
We talked about the criteria by which to evaluate the website. And now, once again, briefly about what you will get by analyzing the site interface. Keep the TOP 5 main benefits:
Competitive advantage: a user-friendly site will be appreciated by your target audience, who will be grateful for correcting errors.
Such users will not go to competitors, but will become your regular customers.
Change for the better: by auditing your resource, you will better understand what mistakes require your immediate response.
Savings on promotion costs: Now you don’t have to waste a lot of money to impress your target audience. A convenient, stylish and modern site speaks for itself. This does not mean that you need to give up promotion. It’s just that now it will be much simpler and cheaper.
The uniqueness and thoughtfulness of the design is a guarantee that people will remember you and come back again.
Interesting and concise content will easily convey your benefits, help keep the audience’s attention, make it more loyal and motivate to buy.
The benefits were said. And now, from theory to practice. How do you evaluate the usability of your site? We have collected for you the main tools for testing sites:
Usability testing software.
For these purposes, you can use Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica. These systems free (!) Collect information about visitors to the resource. The only drawback of such a check is that all information is generalized and needs to be analyzed.
Working with reviews.
A good way to find out what your target audience needs is to ask them directly. As practice shows, if clients have serious comments, they will definitely write about it.
The ideal option is to seek professional help. If you have never looked for errors and bugs in this area before, then it is unlikely that you will be able to find and fix all the problems yourself.