You may not know it, but the way your website is designed could annoy your web visitors to no end. Web usability is crucial if you don’t want to frustrate your web visitors. Here are 5 mistakes which we hope your website steers clear of.
1. Using Flash & Needing To Load
This is so 1990s! We hope your website has gotten rid of Flash because it kills your loading time and makes your website so out-dated!
Flash animation is mainly used to create animation and movement, but it is definitely a big no for today’s websites. If you have a website that still uses Flash, it’s time to redesign!
You don’t need to use Flash with today’s web technology. Honestly.
Another reason for not using Flash is that it makes your website ‘heavy’ and thus, loads slower. Most web visitors do not have the patience to wait for a slow-loading website and may be attracted to surf elsewhere. Strive to make your website as people-friendly and as fast to load as possible. Always test the loading times of your website on different PCs, using different Internet services and on different browsers.
2. Using a Splash Page
Splash pages used to be so fashionable like 10 years ago but it gets annoying especially if you return to a website again and again. A splash page sets the mood for the web visitor, marking itself as an introductory page to your website.
It contains fancy graphics and nothing else and you usually have to click on something (a button or the word “Enter”) in order to get to the homepage. It means well, aiming to capture visitors’ interest when they first arrive at a website but the question is, why bother with a splash page if all you want to do is get the visitor comfortable inside your web pages? The extra click turns people off.
3. Not Being Specific
If you are selling services or products online, be specific – tell your web visitors how much they cost. It is tedious for a web visitor to guess how much products and services cost or having to write to you asking for a quote!
Most people never get around to doing this – why should they when there are a few million other websites out there to catch their eye and give them the specific information that they need? Web visitors go online to look for information – so give them what they want. If you can’t give an exact figure, give an estimate.
4. Lack Clear Navigational Path
It may not be obvious to you but the lack of a clear, navigational path is harmful. If you build a website to offer information about your products, don’t make it hard for your potential clients to find it!
Give web visitors a clear navigational path around your website – don’t make them guess what’s in each web page.
One way to see if your website passes the “how-easy-is-it-to-navigate-around-the-site” test is to get a friend who isn’t very Net-savvy to go through the website with you.
Sit with him as he clicks on your website and its links. Ask him how easy or difficult to find certain pages or information. If he has no problem finding his way around your website, congratulations! But if he gets confused, you should get the hint and work on the website again. The purpose is to troubleshoot any hidden problem areas.
5. Full of Jargon, Acronyms, and More
Another mistake is that most people think of impressing other people so they use all the jargon and acronyms they can think of. Wrong! You should steer clear of jargon because if you don’t keep words simple, people won’t understand you.
You are selling to the average Joe, the man-in-the-street so use regular language. When you offer free articles, say so. Don’t cloak it under a fancy term like “research findings”. People won’t know what it is and may never click on it. Which would you search for – “free articles” or “research findings”? The more common the term, the better!
Write too, as if you are writing to a friend or family member. Be friendly, not overbearing. Keeping your website jargon-free is important as you want to reach as wide an audience as you can.
People come to your website to understand, not to leave more confused. Another point to note is that your website will attract people from all over the world so don’t use phrases that only you and your fellow countrymen understand.