Saturday, August 28, 2010

Five tips to improve the usability of its site

A site at once beautiful, practical and efficient: it is ideal for any marketer or developer.To get there, return to the state of the art in ergonomics and trends in graphic design and navigation.

Finding the right balance between function, material and its user is based on work ergonomics. Applied to the Internet, the interface is looking for a site at once beautiful, practical and effective.

Good ergonomics for a Web site can be defined by a coherent set of three elements: usability (architecture and navigation system), utility (content and services), and design. Optimal ergonomics has a positive influence on the purchase and loyalty. But in practice, this work takes time, knowledge and know-how.

1 The fundamental efficiency and speed
The navigation part of the usability of a site. With the evolution of the structures for hearing and the passage of an audience composed mostly of enthusiasts keen interest in Internet technology and the Web 'to an audience more representative of the population as a whole The usability of the sites is increasingly considered so utilitarian. Customers today have special needs, they seek to answer. Browsing today must strive towards satisfying those needs. It must allow access as easy as possible to the response sought, without detours or artifice. This trend also affects the content and services, and is the source of the proliferation of individualized advice and buying guides.

The other major breakthrough in navigation, relates to internal search engines. "The difficulty of the Web, from the outset has been to manage long lists of results. Today, commercial sites for example, help define the scope of research and also provide a post-sorting, structuring the list of results by an effort segmentation, price or type product. This is both good for the site and the Internet. " 

2 choices here: location and selection
Menus: there are more and more horizontal menus on the home pages, supplemented by sub-vertical menus. "This type of menu has the advantage of defining the width of the site and supply. The submenus symbolize its vertical depth. "This trend is also related to the density of content of many sites, which are forced to redistribute the items to avoid endless scrolls.

Navigation bars progressive: they help in identifying the site and navigation bottom. "Even if they are not yet widely used by Internet users, because it is a fairly new phenomenon, they are very useful when the site is more than three levels deep. They can also bring up the menu tree outside, allowing the disappearance of some of the submenus. Consider that if the sub-menus, once peeled, exceed the height of the screen, we must review the navigation system. And keep in mind that when navigating, the user forgets to as and the actions he has done. " 

Links: even if users do not need that their states 'click here', it is better to keep emphasizing the links, except in the menus (avoid double indices) in order to save time for the user in locating. However, the underline is a clue to be quite strong enough. "Blue is no longer mandatory," 

3 The graphical choices: reduce and prioritize
"A good home page, now it's three stages of display: what users need to see first (logo, products), and navigation tools (main menu, search engine, interactive tools such as simulations or registration for a newsletter, etc..), and finally what needs to be found on the homepage but is of lesser value in use (secure payments, conditions of sale). The environment graph should prioritize these steps. It also brings added value and credibility to the site through its layout, clarity and organization of its contents.
In terms of trends, the time is the alleviation of the pages, with white backgrounds that offer maximum visibility and image of modernity, the reduction of visual home page to better highlight those been selected, the limitation of frames, with increased gaps between areas of content, and the colors less vivid than before.

4 Be in the trend or not
Comply with graphic modes and trends navigational Is it necessarily beneficial? Laura Savage's response is mixed. "It's a matter of belonging sector. Arriving on a page, the user takes very little time to analyze the compliance of a page with his research. We must therefore give the minimum essential industry codes, which mean he is where he wanted to happen. Hence the interest in sect oral audits. Then, a site that works in time is a site that knows how to build a strong identity as loyalty through memorization, memorization and password including graphics. The last layer, that fashion is superficial. She will nevertheless demonstrate its dynamism. " 

5 How to improve usability through testing
Testing upstream, putting users in situations of navigation on the project site, is often insightful. It is a tool for decision support in the upstream process of developing a new site. But usability tests prove even more useful in the case of a new version. "Keeping the Internet is difficult, time coa" expensive. Therefore, during a redesign, it is important not to disrupt its former users. We therefore recruited 50% and 50% of prospective customers for testing. "For sites that do not have the necessary budget, statistics navigation can be a partial responses: they can know where the problems lie, but n does not suggest, contrary to the tests, what are the causes.