Some Basic Tips For Website Usability

By now you know that how easy a website is to use, and how useful it is to the visitor, are determining factors in whether or not you get a sale or return visit to your site.  If you don’t have the time or personnel to embark on a huge project to make your site more usable, you can utilize these basic tips for website usability, and begin to make improvements almost immediately

Utilize Your Whitespace

It has been proven that the use of white space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins of your page increases the comprehension of your readers by at least 20%.  Be sure not to have a page that is so cluttered with information, pictures, links, etc, that it is useless to the visitor.

Choose The Right Font

We all like to use fancy fonts from time to time, but save that for letters to friends or perhaps your e-mail.  Remember, you want your site to be as readable as possible.  Size 12 Verdana is widely considered the best font to use.

Easy on the Animation

While Flash animations can add some style and pop to your site, they also make the site download much slower.  Users will only wait about 8-10 seconds for your page to load, so you want to be careful not to slow it down with too much  animation.

Minimize the Clicks

Generally you want your user to be able to get to any page on your site within two clicks.  Structure your site in tiers to make this possible.

Add Buttons

We are living in the age of social networking, bookmarking, etc.  Make it easy for your users to share information found on your website by adding buttons for social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  You also might want to include some of the social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious.

YouTube Is Great

A great way to add video to your site is to first add it to YouTube, then utilize their embed code to add it to your site.  This will give you traffic coming from both your site and YouTube, as well as saving you bandwidth, server space, and loading time.

These are just a few basic things to get you started on your way.  Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in the weeks to come.

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