Website Usability

When designing a website, it is best to have the intended user in mind. You have to consider each user’s experience level with the web and design a site that meets every potential viewer’s needs. Just because you like websites with flashy graphics and funky colors, depending on the context of your website, that may not be appropriate.

If one was designing a website for a corporate company, using all the colors of the rainbow would not be a good idea. Most companies already have a set list of colors that make up their brand, so their website’s color scheme should be based around those colors.

As a summer intern with the Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), a few things I learned about website usability was that a website should be easy to get to, appealing, and organized in a way that makes it easy for the viewer to find what they’re looking for.

When I worked on ODI’s webpage, in the title bar an acronym was added so that when someone wanted to find our page, they could just type in the short 3-letter acronym instead of having to type in the full name of the page. This increased traffic and reader retention, as it took less time for government employees to find our page.

One of my supervisors, Bruce, when looking at my progress in designing the site, noted that a viewer would have to do too much scrolling on the page to view all of the content. He said that “a person should only have to do one or two scrolls to see all the information on the main page.” Using that advice, I went back and revised the page, using a table with graphic icons and headers to make the information more organized, saving space, but also giving the viewer a place to rest their eyes (example of table layout on ODI homepage). This feedback was great. Viewers loved how easy it was to navigate the page, and on subsequent visits, they were able to associate the icons with the subjects they pertained to.

All of these changes made the website more user-friendly, and increased the overall experience for the viewer. This is key to maximizing website usability.

Advertisements