According to usability expert Steve Krug the golden rule when designing a website is:
“Don’t make me think”.[amazon_link id=”0321344758″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link]
What does this mean exactly and what is usability?
Usability is defined by Steve Krug as “the ability to use a product or service for it’s intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated.” On the web it is crucial to provide your users with the information and functionality they are looking for in a simple, logical manner. Otherwise they are likely to use the back button, leave your site, or worse make their way to your competition’s website.
Some fundamental things that annoy users and harm your brands image are:
- making vital information like contact numbers and pricing hard to find
- asking for personal information that is not really necessary, like addresses and telephone numbers
- slowing down the process by using animated flash introductions or too much text
Some simple things that can be done to minimise the amount of thinking your users need to do and make their experience of your site more pleasurable are:
- know what your audience wants from your site and make it obvious and easy
- tell your users what they want to know without making them work for it
- know what questions your visitors are likely to have and provide answers for them
Most web users visit websites to perform a function, obtain information or research a product. And most web users expect to be able to do this efficiently and effortlessly.
Planning and thinking, so your users don’t have to, will go a long way to providing your audience with a helpful, pleasant and meaningful experience which will in turn build trust with your brand.