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Web Design: Why Usability is Paramount

May 18, 2012 by Richard Turley

Web technology has made it easy for anyone and everyone to launch their own website. All one needs to do is sign up for an account somewhere, perhaps pay a few dollars for a domain, and then start publishing content. Just because everyone can launch a website, however, does not mean everyone can launch a good one.

The difference between an effective website and a non-effective one is frequently one of usability. That difference is all the difference—and it’s why many small businesses invest in the services of a design company, rather than take the DIY route. Ultimately, an IT solutions company like Control-Z can provide web design work that maximizes user-friendliness and accessibility, which benefits a small business in more ways than one.

What Usability is All About
What, exactly, does it mean to say that a website is usable? The term encompasses many different facets of design. Here are some of the most crucial ones:

  •  A professionally-designed site, made to maximize usability, will offer a consistent and simple design. The site will follow all of the unwritten conventions of business websites, which will ultimately make it easier for the reader to follow. Web users have grown accustomed to each page on a website having the same color scheme, to the logo appearing in the same place, and so on. A professional designer can create a site that is easy to follow and to navigate.
  •  A professional web designer can also help you strike the right balance between having dynamic content, and overwhelming your target audience. Having embedded video and compelling images can prove helpful, for instance. Having a site that takes a long time to load, meanwhile, is counterproductive.
  •   A professional designer can ensure that your business’ website is mobile-accessible—something many DIY design programs do not allow for. Given that, in 2012, mobile Internet access is expected to overtake desktop access, this is utterly vital.


The Benefits of Enhanced Usability
The benefits of having a website that meets these criteria are evident. A site that is easier on the eyes, and easier to navigate, is one that will ultimately communicate your company’s message more clearly. A difficult or obtuse online layout will obscure a company’s message. A site that is not mobile-friendly will keep countless users (potential clients) from ever hearing that message. A truly usable site will communicate your company’s vision—and its benefits—with the utmost clarity.

 Usability, as a concept, is also important for ensuring that both the user and the company are meeting their own objectives. The user’s goal, in visiting a corporate website, is probably one of two things. The user either wishes to learn certain information (about the company’s products or services, perhaps) or else to obtain a product or service. This latter point might entail either purchasing a product, or signing up for a newsletter. An effective website, designed with usability in mind, allows the user to accomplish these tasks quickly, on the first visit to the site.

 The company, too, has objectives they would like to meet. Ultimately, a business needs its website to be a tool for expanding profits. A business site designed to be useable will be one that takes the company’s bottom-line needs into consideration, and provides a way for the business to obtain the data it needs to grow and succeed.

 Control-Z is pleased to offer Web and application design for small and large businesses alike, in the Indianapolis area and beyond.