I am interested in users, what can I do? It exists a philosophy based upon the user needs and interests, with special emphasis among other aspects, in their abilities, context of use and tasks performed by them in our website. This philosophy is known as “User Centered Design (UCD)”, and it has become essential to achieve success through an effective web design.
With this in mind, our goal is to design a website in a way that users can surf through it with minimum stress and maximum efficiency. To accomplish this, we must consider a variety of factors related to the UX (User eXperience): utility and value of the product/service, proper response to the user needs and expectations, site content and effectiveness in the conveying of brand values, creativity in the presentation of the visual design, ease of learning and memorability of the website, and the factor on which we will focus on the next paragraphs, usability.
Usability, you say. What is that? Usability or “ease of use” is a qualitative attribute of a webpage related with an efficient navigation and is one of the fundamental aspects of the UX. For a site to be usable, the person that surfs through it must be able to understand its structure and perform with satisfaction what they wanted to do.
In short, what we seek is a user positive attitude and affirmative answers to the following questions: Do I do what I intend to do when I access the site? Do I manage to make the purchase correctly? Do I make any mistake or everything goes well? How long does it take me to purchase the product/service? Did I find it hard to do? Have I now a good feeling, sensation or impression? Will I visit again and recommend this web site?
How can I know if my site is usable? There are certain fundamental principles. Essentially, we need a design that helps communicate in an immediate and clear manner the purpose, objective and function of the site. Likewise, we must offer mechanisms and precise references to the users for them to be able to orient themselves easily and to be informed about what is happening in the site once an action is performed, for example, to make a progress bar appear when a button is pressed, as well as feedback messages when a task is finished, or to show the strength of a password in real time.
In the same way, it is necessary to design the page to suit the user mental objects, displaying the information in a logical and natural order with an appropriate terminology, for them to be able to interact with the site in an easy and productive fashion. Concerning this, a minimalistic design that presents an organized and concise text, with perfectly legible fonts, helps greatly.
However, what do we get if we create a usable website? First and foremost, it allows to improve the conversion and customer fidelity ratios of our website, that means more registrations, purchases, downloads, you name it, reducing the abandonment rate at the same time; it is simple, if a user cannot find a product or service it is impossible for them to buy it. As we mentioned previously, the user experience conditions their relation and interaction with the elements of your digital identity and, specifically, with your website, and since this is your brand’s reflection on the Internet, your main virtual showcase, your online headquarters , it is imperative that every person you manage to attract to your site feels particularly comfortable and welcome.