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Sam Collett
for SHU Computer
Technology For Business

Website Usability

What is web usabilitity?

Sandu, B (n.d) says that usability is the most important thing to take into consideration when designing a website. He also states that usability is a combination of factors including intuitive design, ease of learning and efficiency of use. Patel, N (n.d) says that simple designs build trust with the user. This could mean that users who are using a business website which is simple and intuitive may be more tempted to repeat purchase with the business.

Do I really need to consider it?

The Office For National Statistics (2017) says that 18% of the population are over the age of 65. This means that companies and websites have to cater for their needs. By doing so companies can penetrate a growing market as they can create websites and applications that can be used by the elderly. This could lead to an increase in profit for the company for a increase in visibility for a website.

What about just having a lump of text?

Take this website for example.

Fig.2 - Gates N Fences Website.

The Interactive Design Foundation (2019) talks about the term information overload, a term coined by a professor of political science. Information overload is where there is too much information on a webpage which means that it is difficult for a user to take in the information and to find exactly what they want when they went to the website. Friedman, V (2008) stated that when users look at a website they don't read the content they just scan it.

How do users read a website
Fig.1 - How users read a website.

Users don't read everything that is put in front of them, they just pick out key bits of information, as you can see on the diagram, there are hot spots all over the page especially in the middle of sentences which shows the users don't read the full site.

People are impatient...

Friedman, V (2008) also states the web users are also impatient. This means that users have to make content that's not cluttered but also engaging. Patel, N (n.d) states that by using design that is simple, it puts more focus on the content so that users don't get impatient.

What about consistency?

Another way to make websites more usable is to have consistency. Lacey, B (n.d) states that consistency makes a website easy to navigate and use. By having easy navigation and elements that are all in the same place when using a form, for example, it makes it easier for a user to use the website which means that the user may return to the website.

Last Updated: 14/04/19

Useful Resources

Fig.3 - UX tutorial: What is usability testing? |

Fig.4 - Website Usability. Paul Boag