What truly matters in the realm of Web success is whether or not your site is usable - and to what degree. What indicators, however, exist to help a website owner know this or not?
Thankfully there are a few warning signs that indicate whether information on your site is delivered to users in a way that's easily digestible and navigable, including:
It Takes Forever To Load
If your website does not load in an expected amount of time, users will leave. It may sound like an unreasonable ultimatum, but it's true: 47 percent of customers on ecommerce websites expect their site to load in two seconds or less, and 40 percent will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. Do yourself a favor - check out Google's PageSpeed Tools to make sure your site's as quick as it needs to be. If it's not, consider either upgrading your host or cutting excess fat from your site's pages.
It's incredible how some people have a knack for talking your ear off without saying anything remotely useful. That's not a good talent to have, especially online where users are bombarded with information.
From a Web design perspective, that means that if your site's loaded up with unnecessary information or the sitemap is filled with too many bells and whistles, people are likely to get frustrated and ditch out for a competitor. Be succinct and keep it simple.
Doesn't Cater to All Users
It's somewhat baffling how many webmasters still don't see the importance of mobile. After all, mobile searches now outrank desktop searches, and smartphones are quickly supplanting computers as the browsing device of choice. If you haven't taken active measures to support mobile - for instance, through the implementation of responsive Web design - you need to pull yourself out of the past immediately.
Inclusion, Not Alienation
If you want to avoid having frustrated users abandon your site in droves, your site needs the following features:
-Support for mobile users
-A clean, crisp interface
-No excess information; provide users only what you know they'll want to see
-Fast load times
-A clear and quick brand message throughout
-Professional, high-quality content that is free of mistakes (e.g. broken links, spelling errors)
Simple enough, right?
Maxim Emelianov is the vice president at HostforWeb, Chicago's premier hosting provider, providing reliable, scalable solutions for customers of all sizes and services.