Usability is a critical part of a website’s design. So critical, that it can determine its success or failure.
So you should ask yourself, “Who uses the website?”
Visitors, to be quite frank. The visitor of the page is the only person who can click around the website and use it. He decides everything, in terms of where to go. Kind of like the relationship between a taxi driver and the passenger, or you can use a limousine chauffer and his black-tie passengers if you’re fancy. The passenger wants to go to a local coffee house, and the driver is expected take the passenger to a local coffee house. But if the driver drops you off miles away from your destination, well, then maybe he shouldn’t be a taxi driver.
A website with ineffective navigation/usability might as well not exist because, what’s the use? They’re not taking passengers anywhere, so they have to find a different taxicab.
An article lists some factors that determines a website’s usability:
- Well Thought-out Navigation
- Website Layout Consistency
- Call to Action Buttons
- Easy to Read Content
- Easy to Find “Contact Us” page
- Good Use of Whitespace
- Flash Elements
- Targeting Different Market Segments
Skin care company, Aveeno, has a well designed website. The organization and grid structure is pleasing to the viewer’s eyes. The navigation bar was dark in color compared to the rest of the elements on the page, making it easy to locate. The way you navigate around the site is almost like looking through a file cabinet. When you click on one of the links on the navigation bar, you are taken to the page, and given submenu in a form of tabs.
On some pages, when selecting a tab, it gives you another submenu, but this time, in a column on the left side of the page. This shows that Aveeno’s website has a strong hierarchy in terms of navigation.