This article was published 13 years ago, therefore the contents of this post may be out of date.

This is a revisited post of 14 Do’s and Don’ts Of Usability On The Web. I’ve added new tips and taken some old tips and make them better or left them out in the old post

Usability is ridiculously !important to any website you are design and developing no matter if it big or small, how cool your website looks or how your content is king, if a visitor can’t quickly easily and enjoyable access and use it many of them will just eventually give up and look somewhere else.

So how do you make your website more user-friendly ? well you’re just in luck because in this post today you’ll find 15 usability tips for your website. As the technology will always change, thus changing the usability tips for ever so make sure to share you very own tips and tricks about usability with the rest of us.

1. Placing The Logo In The Correct Area

Placing your logo in the top left or placing it in the menu either to the right or below it and including making it has a clickable link taking the visitor back to your home page is important. So what the reason why should you do this ? Accepted conventions it’s what most web users are except, so there is no need to get creative deciding where to place it.

2. Have The Search Bar In The Best Place

If your site allows to have a search function and if applicable of course ie you have enough content to cover the search. position your search bar in the upper left or right, even in the side bar but if you put it in your side bar position near to the top. Also including the word ‘Search’ in-for so that tells the user what that bar is used for.

3. Make Your Contact Info or Form Easy To Find

This information is very important to any website that offering a service for example an advertising agency selling well advertising of course, so having a dedicated link in your site menu or even including or just having it in your footer is just important then having an internet connection to view the internet. Also including your contact info in your sidebar is also cool.

4. Make Sure Help Pages Are Easy To Find

Having your help pages like FAQ’s, technical support, documentation easy to find either placing in your site menu or in the footer

5. Have As Few Menu Items As Possible

The more choices you have the more new visitors have, the greater you have the more likely they won’t click on any navigation items and instead bouncing out to another site. But another tip is if you do have a few menu items how about categorising them into sections and having a drop down or even an accordion menu

6. Includes State Changes In Links & Buttons

Increasing the like-liness of your visitor clicking on a desired links and buttons as well as making them feel lest lost is when you’re reinforcing the click ability and the action-news of things. Do that by changing the appearance when hovering and clicking of those things

7. Highlight The Active Form Field

When a visitor clicks inside of a form field, highlighting it will reinforce that when the visitor starts typing, that’s where the text will be input-ed or an action will result.

8. Make Sure Links Colours Are As Noticeable As Possible

Making links stand out so that it’s obvious that those pieces of text is click-able, As this is especially important and usable for those with accessibility issues  ie. those who have a hard time with low contrast items.

9. Keeping Everything Consistent  As Possible

Eliminating the surprises for your visitors by avoiding the inconsistency. Keep the following consistently as possible

  • Full Width Pages vs Sidebar includes pages
  • Colours
  • Link Colours
  • Structure & Interface

and any where else the elements are.

10. Make Forms Easy To Follow

Grouping form items in a way that make them easy to follow. For example the first and last name should be on one line, city and state on another and so forth. Also make it obvious what each one is with titles before each form item.

11. Add Breadcrumbs Near The Top

Adding breadcrumbs near the top of your pages for example the checkout, sign-up page process etc. So the visitors know how far along they are and what else is left to complete the process. Ever visitor hate the guesswork that belong of not knowing how much longer something will take to complete. So to eliminate that guesswork with breadcrumbs.

12. Be A Window Shopper. *E-Commerce Tip

This is especially important for those who are building a e-commerce site for example. Show prices, product descriptions right away in your index page/lists. Don’t put them in a way that you have to hover or clicking them to show in a different page. The faster your visitor can browser and find what they wanted, the more happier they be and most likely come back or even refer people to your site.

13. Have Your Name/Logo/Tagline At The Top

Unless you a company like Apple,  Nike or a worldwide recognizable brand, Always have your name/logo and even your tagline at the top so people know where they are at all times. This is important as if they were directly came to your page from an outside link.

14. Just Say NO To Splash Pages

Hello 1997 you want your splashpages back. Now that we got that out of our system, unless your website is essentially a splash page for a single item promotion site like a movie then you are just welcome to create one but don’t annoy your visitors by surprising them with a full page ad when they are just expecting your website.

How about putting the promotion content on  your home page instead., so it;s still immediately visible but still giving your visitors the choice on where to act on it or not.

Just think splash pages are the Internet Explorer 6 it’s been dead for a number of years but still people want them it’s just time to stop.

15. Break Text Up With Images

When ever possible you should break the text up with images and graphs it can help those “6000” word articles much easier to read and more enjoyable. Just look at magazines

This post of usability isn’t saying you can’t be creative in your web designs, most of these tips are just common sense.

Now it’s your turn, what are some of other usability tips that been missed in this post, please feel free to share your useful additions in the comments section below. Thanks


15 Great Usability Tips For Your Website