Got Usability?

Got Usability?



A great long explanation here is really not necessary… Usability is a simple concept. Web pages should be accessible to all. It’s like handicap parking spaces, or the volume control at the drive in…. Wider seats. No matter the issue, brick and mortar businesses have accessibility requirements (laws even) and you have a responsibility with your online store too!

Navigation Usability Tips

  • Logical category navigation which is most if not all above the fold (No scrolling)
  • Vertical navigation such as “Shop by Application”
  • Mouse overs for links and menu items to help shoppers navigate
  • Consistent menu locations, site wide
  • Search in top right
  • Breadcrumbs to show the user where they are
  • Clear navigation back to your main page
  • TEXT… Averagely, users will spend 25 to 30 seconds on a page and most of that time they READ!
  • Shopping cart link and contents top right (VERY easy to find)
  • Short well documented checkout steps
  • Contact or Live Help easy to find

Layout Usability Tips

  • Logo top left ( Web users have just come to expect it )
  • NO left and right scrolling, 1024 by 768 pixels is still as big as you want to go
  • Important information and navigation above the fold
  • Good contrast of text to background, but not blinding contrast
  • Avoid loud or moving backgrounds
  • Drop down & fly out menus should be short, as many shoppers still have short screens
  • Simple sells!
  • Use proper visited and active link styles
  • Use common navigation locations (Top & Top Left) for best results and click through
  • You can encourage vertical scrolling by straddling an image in the fold area
  • Add to cart buttons should be very easily identified, not blended in with the rest of the page & buttons
  • Do not require account creation or login to add to cart or check shipping
  • Easy to use shopping cart options >> Add, remove, refresh etc.
  • Offer product list sorting options
  • Limit the distractions in your checkout, turn some stuff off and make the sale
  • Offer similar or related items on product pages

Content Usability Tips

  • Introduce your site on your main page
  • Write copy for a high school educational level
  • Have the most important information just a click away from your landing pages
  • Use bulleted or number list over run-in list when you use 4 or more items
  • Have a clear descriptive lead-in, opening paragraph  sentence
  • Use a True Type font
  • Limit extravagant styles and colored text
  • Use a clear and easy to detect style format to identify links
  • Use fonts 10 pts and above only
  • NEVER use moving text
  • Don’t type in all capitol letters
  • Limit text in graphics as screen readers do not see this
  • Use descriptive link text and the link title attribute
  • Properly map your text with correct & descriptive heading tags
  • Great detailed product images and even greater accompanying descriptive text
  • Use proper “alt” tags for your images, screen readers need this as well
  • Bold text is NOT necessarily easier to read
  • Most important content is at the top of the page

Other Usability Tips

  • Have others navigate your site and buy things– Hard part, LISTEN to what they say an