The importance of usability when building a new website

28 June 2023

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Making sure your website is accessible and easy to navigate is an essential part of any build. But there is much more to consider when building a website that delivers real results for your business.

Here, Robert Moore, our Head of Development, looks at everything required to make a user-friendly website.

A usable website is paramount to any business – it goes to the very core of what makes them a success. Websites that are slow to load and tricky to use are ones customers will rarely return to.

It is therefore in your best interests to build a website with your users in mind.

There are four important areas to consider when creating a successful website:

1  User experience (UX)

Every business should understand their customers – including what they need and what they value. And that information needs to be used to build a website focused on them.

That can include making your website easy to navigate and that all relevant information they need is easy to find.

Common mistakes include making contact details difficult to find, often pushing visitors to go elsewhere. That’s especially true when the average user’s attention span ranges from only two to eight seconds.

Customers should remember their visits as being a good experience, not something negative.

2  User Journey

Having a good user journey helps streamline the way visitors interact with your website. It is all about understanding the common routes people take from page to page to reach their end goal.

These journeys differ based on the user, but can often involve numerous pages. Understanding your users through user profiling can help identify these.

Once you have a better understanding, you can design a website that makes it as simple as possible for them to achieve their goals – helping in turn to achieve your own.

It is worth stressing the importance of having multiple landing pages, and that a user’s journey can be omni directional – so taking the time to understand what they want from your website is key.

3  Accessibility

Accessibility doesn’t just mean making your website simple to navigate. It is about making sure everyone, regardless of who they are, can use your website.

An estimated 17.8% (10.4million) of people in the UK are disabled. That means it is likely there are clients with additional needs you need to cater your website towards.

Analysis has shown more than 97% of website homepages have detectable accessibility errors. Among the most common problems relate to colour contrast, missing alt text and insufficient font size.

This is an imperative step every website designer should take into account – whether they face a legal responsibility to do so or not.

4  Conversion Optimisation (Conversion Rate Optimisation: CRO)

Conversion optimisation comes down to what you want visitors to do on your website. It is about ensuring their clicks help achieve your business goals.

What constitutes a conversion is unique to you – examples could be a sale or a subscription to your newsletter.

It is therefore vital your website is built in a way that encourages those actions.

This often doesn’t involve reinventing the wheel, but instead optimising the content you already have in a way that drastically improves results.

Making conversion easier has a direct impact on user experience, too.

Need help?

We understand designing a website can be a tricky task. And those who fail to understand the needs of their users are those who struggle to succeed.

The Development Team at Unity Online has decades’ experience in building effective websites for our clients.

Our award-winning designers and developers work with you to better understand your business and your customers, creating websites that help unleash your brand’s potential online.

Get in touch today to learn more.

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