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Increase Website Usability to Decrease Visitor “Lose-Ability”

Last Updated on Mar 31, 2011 by Jeff Lew

Image Source: http://www.liberationmultimedia.com/

Have you ever had your website evaluated for usability? If you haven’t, you should. That is because a usability review will provide invaluable information that will tell you what you need to do for website improvement.

A good usability review should indicate key problems with your website, and provide suggestions for improvement. Keep in mind that website usability also incorporates effective website marketing practices for your brand, because a website is essentially an interactive business card and salesman rolled up into one.

Let me give you two real world examples to illustrate this point…

Scenario #1: Startup website has a lot of information on homepage, but not specifically state what it does

Usability Review Findings should point out that the brand offerings are unclear and information overload is taking place.

Actionable suggestions: Client should clearly state the brand motto or mission statement a clear and concise purpose of existing. Client should cut down the abundance of information on homepage. Selling points and purpose accompanied by a call to action is all that is needed. Supporting information in more detail should be placed in a more appropriate place, such as an “About Us” or “How it Works” (or FAQ) page.

Justification for actions: A visitor will leave a website when there is a lack of clarity. If a website’s purpose is unclear, and/or the website does not solve a need of the client, there is no reason to stay on the website. Also, too much information can be as frustrating as not enough information. No one wants to read a novel in an attempt to find out what your brand actually does business-wise. So don’t make website visitors have to suffer. Information overload is very common on new websites, but more is not always better. Overwhelming a website visitor with too much information can also indicate a lack of clarity, and confusion on a website is not a good thing.

Scenario #2: Website submitted for usability review asks for comparison to competitors. After analysis, usability reviewer recognizes that website submitter’s website is almost identical to competitor.

Actionable suggestions: Usability reviewer should point out to client that it is imperative to differentiate its brand image from that of the competitors. Differentiation is the key element to show a visitor why your website is better than the competitor. If there is no difference, the website that has established itself first, will most likely get the business. It is not a good business practice to simply duplicate the efforts of another website. Such differentiation can be pointed out in pricing points, website offerings, and in the quality of services provided.

Issues: It is a common practice for startups to want to take advantage of untapped markets. The recurring problem that is taking place is that the founder is unwilling to spend time creating a unique brand. This then causes a saturation of the online market with clone sites. When this takes place, the cloned site devalues itself against already existing websites that have already established a presence in the online market.

These two real world examples are very typical of website issues I have encountered. Website usability review is very important to understanding how to better serve the people that visit your website. By finding out how to solve their needs, you will be more able to convert new visitors into sales. Take advantage of the services offered by website usability, so they can help your website prosper.

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