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« Web Usability ISN'T . . . | Main | Event Web Sites: Saving Money and Time with a FAQ »

Keeping Your Web Site Simple . . .

Technology tends to complicate things.  This is especially true online.  With all the technology available it is difficult to know where to start.  Anyone with a web site should strive to keep things as simple as possible for the user.

Web Navigation
Consider how web navigation has evolved. Originally it was just a simple HTML link.  Developers then transitioned from HTML to Javascript image rollovers.  Javascript wasn’t about to be outdone by Flash navigation and all the bells and whistles that followed.  Thankfully the web is coming back around to being simple.  Developers are realizing that users seek out simple over being cool.  Many web sites are reverting back to simple CSS navigation.  Simple navigation is easy for users to understand and also helps with search optimization efforts.

A KISS Mentality
The old adage “Keep It Simple Stupid” is great advice when it comes to all aspects of creating web pages.  Users will always choose the simplest route.  Provided a web site could be trusted and provides you what you were looking for, where would you spent your money?

  1. A web site that is complex and difficult to use.
  2. A web site that is simple and to the point.

Always put yourself in the user’s frame of mind.  Is there something that you can do on your web site to make it easier to use or understand?

Simple usability questions to ask:

  • Can the users easily understand the web site in under 15 seconds?
  • Is the navigation easy to use and intuitive?
  • Do the pictures and photographs match the context of the web site?
  • Does the navigation placement and function stay constant throughout the site?
  • If you have an online store, is the checkout process short and streamlined?
  • Can users easily determine what’s clickable on each page?
  • Is the user provided easy to find and reliable contact information?

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Comments

Cam Beck

The fifteen-second rule is quite important. As people become more and more experienced with browsing, they have less patience with cluttered and confusing sites.

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