My top five usability requirements

by Martin Reed on 19 April 2007 in Snippets

It is important that you place a strong consideration on your site’s usability. You should be permanently tweaking and adjusting your website to improve its usability. Here are what I consider to be the top five usability requirements for a website:

The logo should always link to the homepage – how many times have you clicked a logo only for nothing to happen? Annoying isn’t it? Don’t make the same mistake!

Ensure people can understand your site’s purpose as soon as they arrive at your site – remember that people decide if your site is worth their time in less than a second.

Ensure your load times are acceptable even for those on dial-up connections – remember that not everyone has broadband. If your site is not optimised you could be missing out on a sizeable minority of dial-up users.

Ensure your site contains consistent navigation. Navigation bars that are in a different order or different locations on each page of your site will only frustrate your site’s visitors and encourage them to leave.

Never let anything on your site distract from its content. Content is what determines whether a site will be successful. Avoid distracting advertising on your site, ensure text is well spaced, can be resized, and is in contrast to the background colour.

These are my personal top five usability suggestions – of course there are many more, and some of you will disagree with what I have included in place of those I may have omitted.

What are your recommended usability requirements? Do you have any that I didn’t mention? Do you disagree with some that I have included? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Biddy April 20, 2007 at 12:09 am

My own personal pet peeve: don’t set the text size on your site to something stupidly tiny. If I have to adjust my browser settings to read you, I probably won’t bother.

Martin Reed April 20, 2007 at 11:34 am

Hey Biddy – thanks for the comment. I completely agree with you on that one, I recently came across a blog with an absolutely tiny text size. I commented on this and was told to increase the size of the text via my browser.

Needless to say I no longer visit that particular blog.

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