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  • 01Aug
    Web Site Usability Comments Off

    Website Usability Tips

    Web usability according to research, was proven to be the most significant factor in web design. In fact, it is the influential element that keeps visitors returning to your site.

    Usually the most overlooked aspect when designing a website, nonetheless in actuality, usability has power over the web. When your visitors can not easily navigate your site, chances are, he will not utilize your library in search for information and just go to other sites.  Note that all sites are just a click of the mouse away. Hundreds of thousands of other online stores that offer the same services or products as you are crowding the internet, making online shoppers more selective and choosy when concluding whether to stay and continue their browsing or just leave.

    The internet offers online shoppers ample freedom and various choices; nobody will ever waste their time on a poorly constructed website.  In order to provide web usability, you must involve or think of your prospect clients in designing it.

    Not like a traditional “brick and mortar” store, a lot of online stores or websites do not permit their visitors to “walk through” inside the site as they can in a traditional store set-up. While this may seem an unworkable task to accomplish, if done correctly, a “user-friendly” approach to web design will easily accomplish this task.

    When online shopping, all things must to be located where visitors expect them to be at. The practice of flooding a client with abundant item choices all at the same time and making them search for certain items that they need, is most definitely not the concept of web usability.

    Your visitors must be taken into consideration all throughout your planning as well as designing process. Bear in mind that web usability must never be considered after the construction of a website.

    Fixing and then testing your website only after construction is useless and will not yield satisfactory results. Your best approach would be to combine a replica of “pervasive usability” unto your web design and construction process.

    According to surveys, here are top 12 reasons why visitors want to go back to your site:

    •    Easy navigation            74%

    •    Quick download time        65%

    •    Frequently updated information    58%

    •    Content quality         57%

    •    Content quantity        30%

    •    Content organization        40%

    •    Prompt customer service        40%

    •    Website search tools        25%

    •    Layout of homepage        20%

    •    Enjoyment            19%

    •    Website appearance        18%

    •    Inclusion of animated graphics      9%

    Basing from these reasons, here are usability tips to help you design your website:

    1.  Become familiar with your visitors based on their preferences.  You need a website with personality as well as content quality that accommodates your visitor’s taste; you should understand and recognize their color choices, technical skills, etc.

    2. Create obvious and simple interface. The more apparent and recognizable the web interface is, then your visitors never have to undergo frustration in guessing how your site really works, and instead on concentrating on the interface, they should be concentrating on your site’s content.

    3. Website readability.  Create “easy to read” paragraph, not using small text or font size.

    4. Quick loading.  You need a fast downloadable page as visitors hate to wait.

    5. Avoid hidden navigation, as your visitors need to know where and what to click in order to go someplace.

    6. Get visitor feedbacks so you will know what is working and what does not.  Learn from your prospects.

    7. Investigate on website visitor performance.  Determine how long it takes to perform a certain task? It should not take too long, the faster the better.  If not, work on your user interaction so to improve performance.

    8. Provide a help section.  If your website visitor does make a certain mistake, then they truly will appreciate it if you provide ways to assist them.  “404 page” is great for directing “spiders” to crawl unto your webpage.
    Testing for usability

    Testing for usability is not complicated and very inexpensive to carry out. The easiest answer is to design a simple sequence of undertakings for web users to carry out trials.

    Invite people or friends to your workplace, then request them to navigate your website, watching and observing while they surf.  Do not wait when your website is done before you test it; test it now.

    The work can be simple like finding out a product’s information or finding out how a certain firm can be contacted or one can order a product and finding shipping policies information.

    After testing, fix any problem and test it again.  Continue testing and refining web usability of your website until such time that there are no problems found, that the experience is efficient and pleasant.

    Remember that website usability is concerned to not just the appearance of a site, but more importantly how your site performs and particularly, it gives emphasis on the experience of your visitors.

    Website Usability Tips





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  • 29Jul
    Web Site Usability Comments Off

    Build Customer Relationships When Building Your Website

    E-commerce, or doing business through the Internet is certainly picking up. This may primarily be because of the ease and convenience of shopping online, not to mention the savings from a significantly lower overhead compared to brick-and-mortar stores.

    However, regardless of the benefits of e-commerce, why is it that traditional brick-and-mortar stores are still around and seem to grow instead of decline?

    One major reason could be because these kinds of stores still represent and hold a significantly higher degree of security to the consumer as compared to a website. The sense of permanence, familiarity and reliability that a physical location holds is what brings customers back to the store.

    While online businesses cannot compete with the physical assurance brick-and-mortars have, web-based enterprises can still develop a degree of familiarity with their customers that fosters a relationship of trust and reliability. And majority of this is built around the design of a website.

    The One Unchanging Principle: Think Like Your Customer
    Whether your business has a physical or virtual location, one principle in building relationships with your customers remains – and this is to think like them.

    The more successful businesses have prospered because they have made their customers’ mindset their own. For traditional businesses, it meant everything from convenienctly locating goods to offering ready and credible assistance.

    Successful websites should follow suit. With the lack of tangible contact, a potential customer could have little basis for forming a relationship with an online store. And if building customer loyalty is your goal, then suitable substitutes must be found.

    Looks and feels familiar
    First impressions last. As soon as a visitor clicks on a link to your site, he expects to see something that he will like, and therefore trust.

    Take an online garden supply store for an example. A cut and dry layout of columns and rows, with little to no pictures won’t give the visitor the impression he has accessed a gardening store. Not a lot of hits would result, much less in sales.

    However, if that same site was built to look like a garden shed, for example, the customer might feel more at home with shopping there because the look of the site used a familiar concept with the customer and incorporated it into the over-all look and feel of the website.

    Being able to capture and retain your visitor’s attention is the first step in converting a visit into a sale and eventually working towards a strong business relationship.

    Ready Assistance and Assurance
    A customer appreciates a ready source of help and information when he or she is shopping. So again, thinking like a customer, find ways where a visitor can access answers to common questions about your products. This could be in the form of a prominent FAQ page or a concise product description alongside a picture.

    It helps to strategically locate short but strong testimonials from satisfied customers among your products so visitors can see right away the reliability of the service and goods you provide.

    Safe and Secure
    While familiarity and assurances of reliable service is great in building customer relationship and loyalty, the bedrock of any relationship is trust. So place a good deal of emphasis on this.

    Almost all business and financial transactions over the Internet are now performed over a 128-bit encryption system. So settle for nothing less than this. It will also help to prominently display this information on your payment and sales confirmation page to assure your customers this measure of security.

    Build on the Relationship
    The beginnings of a lasting relationship start from a good first impression. Hopefully, the look of the website has drawn your visitor in comfortably enough to make them want to purchase something from you for the first time. Once they have done so, it is still well within your control to assure that that first transaction will lead to many more.

    You can do this through a number of ways, the most common of which is to thank the customer for purchasing from you and to assure them of your products’ warranties (if any apply).

    Offer your customers useful tips and information on a resource page so they can visit you again, even if to purchase is not the primary intention. Most online transactions require an email address to be submitted so invite the customer to subscribe to your e-newsletter (if you have one). You may offer perks and / or discounts if they do subscribe. However, to avoid being labeled as spam, make sure the material is clearly solicited for and is sent in timely manner.

    About the best indicator of loyalty is when your customer sees you as an expert in your line of business. Aim to be this through your website and your customers will begin to see you as more than just a supplier, but a trusted consultant.

    By taking the necessary steps with your website in cultivating familiarity and trust with your customers, results will be reflected not only in your sales but with your customer relationships as well.
    Build Customer Relationships When Building Your Website





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