Simple Website Usability Tips
Our marketing department gets this question a lot: “How can I give my visitors a better user experience?” I love the fact that this comes phrased as a question, and the asker is (hopefully) genuinely interested in making real changes to make their website better.
Avoid Multi-Level Navs
Multi-level navs can frustrate a user for multiple reasons. The first is simple usability. I will often see websites utilize a nav that will close on the user if the cursor does not follow a perfectly horizontal line when entering the next tier.
Finding content can be difficult if a page is buried deep within a nav. For example, Botox is often structured under facial fillers. Putting facial fillers under ‘Injectables’ and then putting ‘Injectables’ under ‘Other Procedures’ has effectively put Botox four levels deep.
If you have a lot of pages, and you absolutely must have your navigation accomodate them all, you can have them all appear at once in a larger section similar to what Amazon.com uses. That way you can emphasize the sections clearly and list all of the sub-link below.
Don’t Assume Every Visitor Enters Through the Homepage
Lots of work goes into making a homepage beautiful, interesting, usable, and capable of directing visitors where you want them to go. Why not carry those same traits into your procedure pages?
Every page on your site should be considered an entry page. If you’re working hard to create amazing content and a website that will index in the search engines and get shared by others, then hopefully the majority of your traffic isn’t going to your homepage.
Don’t Be Boring!
If someone tells you your website is “not engaging the visitor,” that’s a nice way of saying your website is boring. No one likes to look at walls of text, and no one likes to look at just a bunch of pictures. Break text apart into sections, reduce the wordcount, and make your content readable to someone who hasn’t been to ten years of medical school.
Negative space can be used to break up the flow of a page, separate objects, and make it easier on a visitor’s eyes. Cleverly using white space can even influence conversion rates by controlling where a visitor looks when moving down a page.
Make Converting Easy
If your website is meant to send you business, why not make it as easy as possible for people to give you their information? That contact form buried in your footer at the bottom of the page? No one is going to scroll down there. Move it to the top or insert it into your content!
Remove the friction. When a visitor goes to your contact page, chances are they are already in the mindset to contact you in some way. If they are greeted by a huge contact form asking for their full address, date of birth, and Skype username, they will probably decide contacting you is simply too much work.
Keep it simple, interesting, and easy for someone to find what they want.