Every website has a feature to attract users who may be interested in your product (whatever it is, sometimes be a physical product, others value content) and convert those initial users into customers or subscribers. But this step conversion will not work if your site does not meet a number of features that provide simple and useful experience navigation.
Each website is different and offers different products or information, it is imperative that you tell your users what they want me to do. Visitors do not have time to figure out what they can do on your website, or what utilities can be found on it. If our website does not have a good map navigation, the visitor will be lost, you will not find the information you want and leave. We have lost a potential customer.
On many occasions we dump all the information you want to include our web, we do ordain as our vision and preferences. But we forget that the web is not for us, not for the businessman or trader, the web is for the user, the customer. So we can not structure and design our platform based on our preferences, but must take into account the needs of our potential customers and offer them precisely what they are looking for. Only in this way we will facilitate the conversion of visitors to customers or subscribers.
Beyond the graphic design of a website, must take into account other characteristics that must contain so that the browsing experience is unique and that client wants to stay in our digital space.
It is necessary, before the design, be clear about the structure of the page and the goal we want to achieve with it. The structure will order all the information you want to dump it to be easily accessible and findable by visitors.
If you do not know very well how to offer your visitors an experience useful navigation and convert them into customers, we propose to structure your website by following the 10 rules of usability, proposed by Jakob Nielsen, recognized “father of usability”.
Having a responsive web design is not included as a principle proposed by Nielsen to improve the usability of your website. But it would be essential to provide a good browsing experience on mobile devices. So yes you should include in your list of usability principles; especially from April 21, the date on which Google will begin to better position the sites with responsive design, as it understands that offer better browsing experience to the user.
But first, what is web usability? The ease with which a user navigates through our website and find what you need. The easier and simpler, the better. The fewer clicks you have to do to find what you are looking much better. So, let’s see what’s behind the heuristic principles of usability Nielsen:
Visibility of system status
The user should always be informed of what is happening on the website. If there is an error of any kind, you have to inform the visitor of what is going on. For example, the charging time of the payment gateway, sometimes slows down; at that time, we should inform the user why it is taking to load the page. With a simple message “is charging the payment gateway, wait a few seconds”, you already know that there is no problem on the page or that has been suspended, just this step needs a little more time connecting.
If properly informed of what is going on “inside” the platform, the customer not only calms but likely to increase their confidence in our page.
Relationship between the system and the real world
We use in our language that is easily understandable by our users. Letting us technicalities programming or words that only understood by those skilled in that area. The better we understand what we say, more likely to stay with us.
User control and freedom
The user has to feel in control of the site and you can undo any unwanted action quickly and easily. We must offer fast and affordable solutions to unwanted actions by users. Everyone at some point in our navigation, we will specific points that we are not interested, or perform actions that initially were not looking; it is important that visitors can undo the unwanted action and return to the point where it was before.
Consistency and standards
The user should not wonder whether different words or actions will involve the same or it will lead to the same page. It is important not to confuse the user, call things by their name, and with the same name while you navigate. Follow the same line for the entire web and maintain a consistent structure and follow the same standards on all pages.
It is better to inform and guide the visitor how has to navigate and / or act, do not tell what he has not done correctly.
If you routinely visitors fields are left without filling in registration forms it would be fine, before the visitor click “finish” that a warning message informing missing for completing or have mistakenly made fields appear. Above all it is solved properly informed of what to do and at the right time. We must anticipate possible navigational errors and propose a solution before it occurs, will save you time visitors and certainly appreciate it.
Better recognize that memorize
The user should not learn the ways or clicks to make to reach a particular point of your website. You have to easily recognize the options that will lead to the desired point, and has to provide that information at the right time, but should not learn the navigation map. The easier you put it so you can always access the desired content, much more likely to continue interacting on your platform.
Flexibility and efficiency of use
Your site will be accessed by users who never before had done, and also for users who visit regularly. Just as here we have great emphasis on providing a browsing experience that informs the user at all times, it is also important to adapt the navigation a little more experienced users who do not want to go through the intermediate steps does require a first-time visit.
Design and minimalist aesthetic
You should provide information that was really relevant and that adds value to your visitor. Fill gaps in your site with text or other “decorative” elements it obscures information that it is useful and difficult for the user to focus on the really important information for him.
Best little information that adds value and meaning, not much other than interest to the visitor.
The aesthetic design is also an important point to care, as an inherently accompanies the navigation map. Colors and graphic design in general, makes the look before we focus in some places and not in others. Take advantage of it to guide the user and not confuse or stun him.
Help users recognize, diagnose i recover from errors
As we have seen before, must inform the navigator of what is happening at all times and prevent errors before they occur. But the language we use at this point should be completely understandable by the user, otherwise soon it will serve to be informed if you do not understand what you’re saying.
We need to provide quick exits, which are in sight and are easily accessible, to recover as quickly as possible errors that may arise at some point navigation.
For example, more and more websites with the error message 404 (one of the most common) custom look. Personalized not only in design but also in the text: the user explaining what happened and offering a solution; and not simply displaying the text: Error 404 Page Not Found.
Help and documentation
Finally, it would be desirable to provide the user a FAQ section where you can answer questions that arise recurrently while browsing our website. This section should be visible and easily accessible from anywhere on the platform. For very usable and well structured is your page, there will always be a user who will have more or less curiosity or questions, and increase confidence in the site if the offer without having to go looking for the platform.
How about heuristic principles defined by Jakob Nielsen?
In view they seem quite logical, but in practice there are many websites that do not apply these standards of usability and it may be affecting negatively the conversion of visitors into customers or subscribers. If your page does not sell, does not succeed or does not finish properly to convert the amount of traffic you get, maybe you should consider whether your site has usability and are correctly applying these rules.