Letting a toddler play with your smart phone seems harmless. After all, they won’t hack your social media or send embarrassing texts to your ex. But one Portland dad has learned that lending his phone to his 14-month-old daughter was a costly mistake. In the few minutes that she had his smartphone she opened his ebay app, bid on a car, and won. Luckily for him, it was a $225 1962 Austin Healey Sprite, not the $38,000 Porche he’d been window-shopping.
Now this may have just been a happy (or unhappy depending on how you look at it) accident, but it does remind us of the importance of usability. Whether it’s an app, website or mobile site, it must first and foremost be easy to use and navigate. The most beautifully designed site or app in the world will do you very little good if your content is buried in confusing navigation and other features.
Let’s examine areas of your website to pay special attention to with regards to maximizing usability and making your website so easy a baby could use it.
Not only should your navigation be in plain sight when a user lands on your website, your visitors should be able to tell by the titles what types of content will be on those pages. Getting creative with your navigation is all fine and well, but if you’ve taken so much creative license that their meaning is unclear then you’ve done more harm than good. Be sure that all of your most important sections are represented in the main navigation, with pages that are associated with these items appearing in drop downs from there.
CTA’s & Side Bar:
Depending on how your site is designed, you should consider placement of items that add visual interest to your site like CTA’s (calls to actions) or side bar items. They serve a functional purpose, a marketing purpose and a business purpose, calling out important sections on your site to which you want to drive your visitors. Think strategically about these items. It is a best practice to call out your contact page, or even include a short contact form directly on the side or the body of the page – this increases capture and conversion. Other popular call outs include newsletter sign-ups, testimonials, blog rolls, social media icons.
Users often turn to social media as a source of validation in order to see if your company is well received with fans and to learn more about your business. They shouldn’t have to go searching for this information. If your visitors can’t locate your social icons at a glance they will most likely abandon their pursuit and turn to your more social competitors. Make sure that your social media icons are easily visible on every page. We’ve included ours at the top of our site and they remain stuck there, along with our navigation, as you scroll down the page.
Web visitors are willing, even excited, to share content that they like. However, they’re much more likely to do so if you provide them with a little encouragement in the form of a share feature. This not only reminds users to share a page on your website that they’ve found particularly interesting or useful, it also makes it easy for them to do without even leaving your site.
These are just a few items to consider when designing your website for ease of use. Stay tuned for more tips on web usability or reach out for a free consultation to learn how we can make your website more user friendly!