We know a thing or two about websites, and, today, we focus on 8 Usability Tips for Your Blog. Personally, for me, the following definition from Interaction Design Foundation offers a meaningful and actionable
“Usability is a measure of how well a specific user in a specific context can use a product/design to achieve a defined goal effectively, efficiently and satisfactorily.”
Usability is the space in between the design and psychology. In short, usability is about how convenient your website is while user experience is about whether that website offers a positive or negative user experience.
1. Clear Content
It’s a fact that website owners have to carefully manage graphics and content in the right combination; this depends on their audience. Content that is authentic and relevant increases the trust aspect of the website that contains it. Content should be clear, exact and properly formatted. At the same time, one might have a lot to share and not all content fits in on one page. Content needs to be split over a number of pages. Use subheadings for long posts: Add subtitles to your longer posts “to break up the text” and keep readers interested and focused. There should only be one H1 heading on each page, with all other headings being classified as H2, H3 etc.
2. Editorial Theme
Choose an editorial theme and ensure that you adhere to. You need to remain consistent with your design. But you also need to choose an editorial theme that you plan to embrace. Jakob Nielsen says, “If you publish on many different topics, you’re less likely to attract a loyal audience of high-value users. Busy people usually visits a blog to read an entry about a topic that interests them.”
3. Know Your Devices
Sarah Etter from Monetate mentions the difference between the types of devices. Tablets convert at over twice the rate of smartphones, and there are differences in location and times of how people use each kind of device. User experience optimization that doesn’t take account of platform differences won’t just annoy readers, but will reduce conversions.
4. SEO and Internal Search
You want to make your content easily searchable by users. First, improve SEO to increase presence on external search engines. Also, make sure to have an internal search feature in your blog to allow visitors to search your blog.
5. Page Speed
Page speed is a major factor in on-page SEO and improving usability of your blog. With the rise of mobile devices, people are accessing content all over the world on different platforms. Slow page load is a source of frustration and often users simply don’t have the time to wait. According to Section.io, an extra five seconds of page load time can increase your website’s “bounce rate” by more than 20%. Google offers a free service where you can get information on your page speed.
Calls to actions (CTAs) that are clearly marked with an action word enable your website users to easily navigate your site and get exactly what they want in the location they expect to find it. In a study done by Maxymiser, researchers were shocked to find that hey achieved an increase of 11% in clicks to the checkout area of the Laura Ashley website, by testing color variations and action messaging. Different colors evoke different messages. Think about the message that you want to evoke for a user (trust, experience, intelligence) and choose your colors wisely.
7. Hyperlink Differentiation
In a study done by Karyn Graves, she shows that the regular web user sees blue and underlined text as links and knows to click on them. Exploiting user expectations and what they already know about using the web is tantamount to success. When you add a link to any page, you’re saying you want the user to click there. Make sure links are easily identifiable by visual cues. Underlined text and differently colored text draws the attention of the reader and lets him or her know this is a link to be clicked on.
8. Test, test, and test!
The most important step is to test what’s going on your blog. Find your own usability tip by monitoring your website!
Mercedes Rodriguez of Simpleview mentions the expectations that site visitors have. People have hardcoded beliefs about website behavior, and if your site doesn’t deliver to those expectations, you will have to deal with a high bounce rate and poor reputation. A suggestion would be to pay attention to analytics and use heat mapping to identify potential usability trouble spots. Create your site for users and use SEO to make it more visible; targeting SEO alone won’t be enough.
Everything boils down to design, doesn’t it? As a general rule, always remember to put yourself in your users’ shoes before taking any decision related to your website. To encapsulate everything that had been start to in this post, I will summarize it all by quoting Frank Chimero — People ignore design that ignores people.
I hope this article helped you learn some tips to improve usability of your website. Feel free to comment your ideas below.