SGIS updates & advice

Improve Website Usability

Ensuring your website is easy to use might sound simple, but it can be quickly overlooked and may lead to loss of visitors and customers. We have put together some key areas to consider in order to improve your website’s usability.

1. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

When you’ve been so involved in a websites creation it’s hard to spot obvious usability problems. Try to take a step back when using your site to check for obvious navigation or usability problems. Another option is to ask a friend or colleague to use your site and get them to list any problems they found.

2. Navigation

Clear navigation is one of the most important things to consider. We have listed some key points below.

  • Keep it simple – Make sure the text is easy to read and clear.
  • Keep tabs to a minimum – Too many tabs will make it hard to find the page a user is looking for.
  • Keep it the same – Make sure your navigation is the same on every page.
  • Link back to the home page – Always have a link back to your home page on every page.

3. Keep content Concise

Too much text will put some readers off and may distract from what you’re trying to say or do. Keep it simple and make the key points easy to read and see.

4. Use headings to break up large amounts of text

Following on from the above, if you do need to add lots of text break it down into chunks with clear headings. This will also help people who prefer to skim read as they can easily identify the section relevant to them. Another option is to use a “Read more” button on large bodies of text which leads to the full article.

5. Use Bulleted or numbered lists

Breaking lists down in a bulleted or numbered list makes them easy to read. We have created an example below so you can quickly see the advantages of having a list rather than a body of text.

Without bulleted list

With bulleted list

6. Make Hyperlinked text clear

If you are entering a link to another page or site make sure the link is clearly identified and always use the same colour to set a link. If the hyperlink colour is to similar to your text it won’t always be seen.

7. Don’t just focus on your home page

Although the home page is the most likely page to be visited, it’s important not to forget about the rest of your site. A user will soon get frustrated if as soon as they leave the home page the usability falls apart.

8. Check for broken links

Broken links can be very annoying and will likely lead to a visitor leaving your site. Checking for broken links can be tricky but luckily there are some helpful tools available.

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