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Why usability is important to you

Human Head Profile: Universal Icon Symbol for MankindUsability is the measure of the quality of a user's experience when interacting with a product or system - whether a web site, software application, mobile technology, or any user-operated device.

According to Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen:

On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a web site is difficult to use, people leave. If the homepage fails to clearly state what a company offers and what users can do on the site, people leave.

If users get lost on a web site, they leave. If a web site's information is hard to read or doesn't answer users' key questions, they leave. Note a pattern here?

There's no such thing as a user reading a web site manual or otherwise spending much time trying to figure out an interface.

There are plenty of other web sites available; leaving is the first line of defense when users encounter a difficulty.

What is usability

Is your web site usable? There are several definitions for usability, but basically the following 4 characteristics can be considered usable:

Does your product or web site have the above characteristics? Usability increases benefits for both parties: the User (potential customers) and the Provider (yourself).

Users benefits from usability

Your visitors can benefit from usability, because:

If your users are satisfied, they will become loyal, and may even recommend your product or service to others.

Providers benefits from usability

As a provider, you may benefit from usability in many ways, including:

Misconceptions

Usability expert Jakob Nielsen has this to say about usability's expense:

The time it involves, and its creative impact prevent companies from getting crucial user data, as does the erroneous belief that existing customer-feedback methods are a valid driver for interface design.

Usability can save your company

John S. Rhodes, Editor and Webmaster at WebWord.com, says:

Data indicate that usability offers a better return on investment than almost any other business action. When times get rough, usability shines. The benefits are huge. Usability is a weapon that can save you money, improve your competitive position, and improve customer loyalty. Now is the time to invest in the research.

After all, by making your web site usable, you make your visitors happier and your wallet more comfortable!

Notice:This article was written by John Britsios, Web Architect & Senior SEO Consultant here at Webnauts Net and SEO Workers - Expert SEO Company.

It may be reproduced on a web site, CD-ROM, e-zine, book, magazine, etc. so long permission is received from Webnauts Net and the author's name is included in full, and, if the reproduction is by electronic media, a link back to this web site is included.

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