You’ve done everything they told you to do to optimize your site, and now you are showing up on the first page of search engines. Eureka! But wait – you’re getting lots of hits but no conversions. Hmm… Perhaps now it’s time to consider the usability of your website.
What is usability? Well, according to Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think, “Usability really just means making sure that something works well: that a person of average (or even below average) ability and experience can use the thing – whether it’s a Web site, a fighter jet, or a revolving door – for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated.”
So what does this mean for you and why is it so important?
Your website is interactive and unfortunately you cannot shrink yourself down and sit on the shoulder of your users to tell them what to do. They have to find what they are looking for themselves. The fact that they are on your site means that they are there to buy something, look for information or comparison, or perhaps interact with a user community. Can they find what they are looking for? When they do, can they act on it? The more able you are to create an effortless experience for them, the more it will increase your chances that they will take the desired action.
Usability means that someone should be able to understand and accomplish a task intuitively without thought or aggravation. A usable website creates trust in your customers and a sense of satisfaction.
What do users look for in a website?
- Ease of use
- Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity
So why is usability so important? With billions of websites on the Internet today, all taking the time and money to show up on the first page of Google or Bing, your competitors are only a click away. If you don’t help your users to simply accomplish their goals, they are bound to head straight to your competitor.