Designing a website is a complicated process that demands careful attention to details. However, the real challenge lies in making it usable for end users. The problem with most web designers is that they sometimes tend to design websites based on their own needs and not for their target audience. As a result, they commit mistakes that usually take a toll on their sites’ usability.
Of course, if you are a web designer yourself, you want to provide the best quality user experience to your target audience. To be able to do that here is a list of five common usability errors that often leave end users frustrated which you should steer clear from.
Missing search function
A lot of end users are task-oriented and in most cases they visit a website to get specific information and will not stay too long to look around the website unless they have all the time in the world. In such case, it is crucial that there is a search function in place especially if you are running a content-heavy site. The search function is the first feature that visitors will go to in order to look up the details they need without any hassle.
Most users prefer to get a glimpse of the functions or applications a site provides before they register or pay for that particular service. As such, it is usually disappointing to see a website that first asks users to register or sign up before they can use its features or services.
Remember that you are trying to establish trust here and you do not want to push visitors away from your website by asking for their complete name and contact information before they can use your application. It is a good idea to provide end users a sneak peak, demo or preview of the site and its features so that they will be able to decide if it is suitable for them or not.
Too long of a registration form
Suppose you find a website that suits your needs and you are excited to have an account. So you click on the registration form to sign up. Unfortunately, you have already wasted several minutes filling up the first form and there are still two forms left. Just imagining this will make you feel frustrated and chances are you will lose interest and will simply leave the site.
The key here is to keep your site’s registration forms as short as possible. Only ask for details that matters, such as the email address, password and username. Once the user registers, give him or her option to fill additional information that he or she might deem necessary.
There is nothing more confusing and time consuming than a website that lacks consistency. So when designing your website, always keep the same layout all throughout. The same thing applies to the background and link colours and typography. You want to ensure that visitors will feel in control, which will encourage them to stay longer.
Missing contact information
One thing that can make an end user feel that a website is a scam is the lack of contact information or not being able to reach the company for customer service. As mentioned earlier, people visit websites for a particular purpose. So if they are there to get in touch with you because they have a question, suggestion or comment, then they should be able to do so through the contact information section. If your site does not have this, then it is useless and will only push visitors to find another site that offers the same features as yours.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Highways Agency
Article by Wesley Rice
Wesley Rice is a seasoned writer who loves to discuss topics related to web design, social media and technology. He is also a regular contributor for RFK Solutions, a website design West Lothian company. Aside from writing, he also enjoys sketching and reading sci-fi novels and manga.