USABILITY


Scott Hortop
web consultant      web designer
photographer


WHY USABILITY IS IMPORTANT

Web site usability is of fundamental importance to businesses in the UK that wish to make the most out of the web. If web sites are not designed with the user in mind and tested thoroughly:

  • your website can look fine on one screen but be unusable on another (without you knowing)
  • even though the content is there, the user cannot find what they want
  • content may be slow to download
  • content can be out of date
  • forms can frequently fail to deliver a final sale.

If your web pages are confusing and do not make an instant favourable impression then it is all to easy on the web for the potential customer to go elsewhere. Even if your business is not web based, existing customers may never return to you if your web site does not support them properly and meet their after-sales expectations.

Separately for many businesses there is the abandoned shopping cart effect that impacts over half of sales on the web. Have you taken steps to find out what opportunities might be missed and potential customers lost because of badly written forms?

It is no accident that web site usability is now coming to the fore as the major consideration in the design of a site.

It should be apparent from the above that, as a separate issue to usability you should consider......

IS YOUR WEB SITE OF USE?

All too frequently, the content that customers really want may not be there. More and more customers look to the web for information and support - if this is provided in an effective way then your business is enhanced.

Too many websites try to frustrate customers attempts to contact businesses with little or no means of getting in touch. Sometimes there is a form but often the customer is given no confidence that when the 'send' button is clicked anything is likely to happen. All too frequently nothing does.

The value of a website to the company and its customers can be greatly enhanced through making it more usable - and of more use. A short usability review can identify the key steps that can add great value.

All this applies equally to intranets. Read more on how I can help you get more value out of your intranet investment here.

WHAT DOES AN USABILITY REVIEW COST?

An usability review is different to an 'usability audit' or 'usability testing'. It assesses how your website relates to your customers needs and what practical steps can be taken to improve performance. My experience and background means that the focus of my review is on your business and its particular needs and not on usability theory as dictated by a textbook checklist.

Occasionally, perhaps for a highly visited site, in addition to recommending practical steps to improve the position, my review may recommend further audit or testing work. That will depend wholly on your circumstances and since I do not carry out such work myself you can expect an unbiased opinion.

A meaningful review can take one day or one month depending upon your business. I will report to you in the form that you prefer and my knowledge of web design means that I can suggest practical solutions. Should you require it, I can make direct improvements as I work so that I can give your business an instant benefit.

 

Use and Usability

These issues are fundamental to the success of your web presence. Don't take it for granted that your website is either behaving as it should or carrying the right content to properly support your customers.

I can:

  • report on your site's usability and accessibility
  • test the usability and functionality of forms and supporting response systems
  • report on the web site's business fundamentals
  • make corrections "on the fly" where appropriate
  • make recommendations in other circumstances

 














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