Whether you’re displaying a portfolio of your work, trying to drive sales, promoting your business or simply hosting a blog, your website is supposed to be working for you to help you achieve your goals. You can spend thousands and put hours of work into the creation of a website but if it isn’t user-friendly then it isn’t going to perform well, so it’s vital that you take the time to check for any issues that could be affecting the experience of your website visitors.
The most simple way to check what kind of experience users of your website are receiving is to visit the website yourself. Do this regularly and on a variety of different screen types and sizes, sometimes what looks good on one computer can look squashed or stretched on another. Take note if anything is taking a particularly long time to load, you have approximately 15 seconds to grab the attention of your website visitors and if half of that is spent on the page loading then it’s likely that they will become bored and end up as another bounce statistic. One common and easily rectifiable cause of a slow loading website is not having your images correctly sized.
With the world living on their phones, an increasing amount of website traffic is coming from mobile devices. Your website will display very differently in a mobile ratio and so be sure to test it across a couple of different mobile devices to get an idea of how it looks, feels and performs and remember to re-test on new mobile devices whenever possible.
If you want to carry out a more thorough usability test of your website then you will need to put it in the hands of people who do not already know your brand or your product. You already know the layout of your website and what it is you are trying to get across, therefore to get an unbiased feel of how the website will perform you need to have it tested by strangers.
Another great way to ensure your website is laid out in an intuitive, easy to navigate way is to perform click testing. A click test monitors where visitors to your site click generating a map of their visit. Click testing can highlight a multitude of website issues from poorly placed buttons to infinite loops which drive visitors crazy.
Even after performing a thorough usability test and fixing any issues that arise, some website visitors will still need help navigating your website. We weren’t all born in the digital age and each and every one of us uses technology slightly differently and so it’s important that these people are still able to get the information they need from your site. To ensure you don’t miss out on a sale or potential client consider installing a live chat to give website visitors a way to speak with you directly.
Now that you have improved the usability of your website and you have installed a means of direct communication with your visitors your website is able to perform for you at its peak.