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Benefits of Web Usability

In "What is Web Usability" I briefly defined usability.   Now that you know a little about web usability, let's delve into some of the benefits of web usability

Some of the biggest benefits of usability are reflective of what web site owners seek daily, traffic and conversions.  According to research by Jakob Nielsen, web sites with higher usability increase online conversion by 100% and increase the online visitor count by 150%

Any web site owner should implement some form of usability testing on their web site.  It can be as simple as getting family and friends to surf your site and getting feedback.

Users flock to sites that are simple and concise. During one web site redesign we reduced the total number of pages on a client's site by 85%.  The 100+ page web site had a tremendous amount of information, but people were not accessing all of it.  When we analyzed the server usage logs we were able to find only 5-10 pages had 90% of the traffic.   Looking at usage logs can tell you what the user finds most interesting. After we implemented the findings and reducing the size of the site, visitor traffic began to rapidly increase.

The benefits of a usable site also come into play with E-commerce web sites.  I cannot stress enough the importance of making the shopping experience as simple as possible.  There have been many E-commerce web sites that have failed because they were difficult to use.

"E-commerce sites lose almost half of their potential sales because users cannot use the site. In other words, with better usability, the average site could increase its current sales by 79% (calculated as the 44% of potential sales relative to the 56% of cases in which users currently succeed)." - Jakob Nielsen

Ensuring web usability also saves you time and money.  Usability testing allows you to determine if you are investing budget into technology with no ROI.  Too many companies dilute their message  with "bells and whistles."  Users are looking for a straightforward message that isn't hidden behind intrusive technology.  From the time perspective, you won't be investing effort that isn't beneficial to you and your company.  You are providing the user with the most direct message in the shortest period of time.

When you make your site easy to use, visitor traffic and online conversions go up. Easy to use web sites leave the user with a higher sense of trust and credibility for the site.  Trust and credibility are significant motivating factors to online buyers.  Keep your web site usable and reap the benefits.

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