Monday, 27 November 2017

Use it : Creating a customer-friendly website

Superslide at the EX - Canadian National Exhibition on Lakeshore last 2 weeks of August 

If you're a communicator tasked with developing a website, consider your customer's point of view with this basic usability checklist:

Access to the site is easy
  • users can find the site and it loads quickly

Minimize the potential for errors through design
  • use accurate and descriptive labels, link names and section titles.

Navigation is intuitive
  • minimize the amount of information a user must type in for forms
  • use intuitive content structure and labels, hierarchies and natural order (sequential, frequency of use, function)
  • use simple, concise language and plain terminology
  • match the content and its presentation to the people who will use the site.

The user has control over how they use the site
  • put a 'home' link on every page
  • provide a site map
  • provide (in some cases, multiple) navigation elements on all content pages.

Consistency to aid navigation
  • use alignment to reinforce site structure
  • place recurring navigation, text and buttons on all pages in same place
  • use the same sequence in lists and navigation throughout the site.

Support movement through the site
  • identify the site on every page
  • identify the page with 1st, 2nd and 3rd level headings
  • link every page to at least one level up
  • use recognizable metaphors for navigation.

Promote recognition rather than recall
  • clearly identify the page using a consistent textual and graphic style
  • provide good navigation using concise, meaningful, unique titles
  • use descriptive labels and links.

Flexibility and efficiency
  • make pages easy to bookmark, avoid pop ups and gimmicks
  • allow users to move through the site how they wish

Efficient design
  • use a clear sequence on navigation bar
  • keep the navigation bar to a maximum of 9 items
  • chunk and group information to create a deep site with multiple pages rather than a broad one
  • use "pointers" to immediate parent pages and to the beginnings of sections, as well as to the main sections and help

Informative error handling
  • offer informative error messages
  • provide help to recover from the error

Aid the site user
  • provide a search function
  • provide a site map
  • provide step-by-step information on downloads, forms, transactions and other interactions.