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Archive for January, 2012

Usability, putting the needs of your users first

Posted by Jacob Creech on January 11th, 2012

We’re getting back to our routine here at IntuitionHQ. The holidays were nice but we have to go back to work sooner or later. Talking about holidays, how was yours? Going on a holiday can be exciting but it isn’t always as easy as it should be.

I realised that myself when I checked out some holiday homes. The first thing we preach here at IntuitionHQ is good usability – we are a usability testing service after all.

Good usability is a critical aspect of any good design. A usable website should designed with the expectations and experience of users in mind. They want to find what they’re looking for in a quick and easy way.

The advanced search on the IHA vacation rentals isn’t an example of usable website design. It can be handy if you’re looking for something like a mansion with a spa not far from the nearest karaoke bar, but in most cases your visitors won’t appreciate too much clutter on one page – it makes finding what you are really looking for almost impossible.

I agree that content is important and that it needs to be organised, but drawing attention to everything at once is going to make you lose visitors. Your visitors just want to find something fast, not have increased blood pressure.

The success to a great website is planning usability. Think about the following:
- What are your users expecting to find?
- How are you going to address it in an easy and understandable way?

The visitor to your page is the only person you want to keep happy, so correcting any usability issues that your visitors might experience is an important task for any website. Using tools like IntuitionHQ you can simulate the experience of the visitor from design sketch to wireframe, and all the way to the finished design.

You can also gather other useful information such as:
- How long does it take users to complete a certain task? Frustrated visitors are unlikely to return or recommend your site to others.
- What kind of information are your visitors looking for? Visitors want to find the right information, and it has to be quick and easy.

Usability is all about putting the needs of your users first. If you succeed in that the benefits are enormous. Focusing on website usability and recognising the advantages it provides can give you a competitive edge on your rivals.

Do you want to get started with usability testing? Do you have questions about the usability testing process? Feel free to leave a comment below, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook – we love to help.

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