Don’t Make Me Think!

This is the title of a design book written by Steve Krug and it sums up the #1 rule for making websites easy to use.

Much has been said about the importance about optimizing websites for Google and the other search engines but that is only part of a successful strategy.  Once found, your site must be easy to use or customers will go elsewhere.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) How long does it take for your site to fully appear on the screen?

Most people don’t want to wait through a fancy introductory animation or slow loading graphics to get to what they came for.

2) Is it immediately obvious at a glance, what products or services your business provides?

People are in such a hurry these days, they may only scan a page briefly to decide whether to stay or move on.  Make sure the more important information stands out.

3) Is it clear how to get to information on other pages?

    • Underline links when mixed in with other text.
    • Navigation should be in obvious, expected places (along left side or across top).
    • Buttons that look like something to be clicked.
    • Unambiguous wording so that users will know what they’ll get if they click on a button or link.

Try this test: Ask something not familiar with your website to find a piece of information or product that is not on your home page. Don’t give any instructions, just watch how they do it. You may be surprised to see how someone actually uses your site.

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