Web Usability can be defined as a way of measuring the
consistency and simplicity of the website’s interface. The usability of a
website is how convenient it is from the design to the user experience. The
main aim of this project is to improve the website in order to create a
positive user experience. The user experience begins right when the user lands
on the website to when they log off. This is achieved by being able to
establish a connection with the user with excellent user interaction and
engaging website content.
A decent level of usability is determined by the user’s
ability to utilize the website without having to think or spend more than 5
seconds trying to figure out the next steps of the process. This means that the
user is fully guided and the site has clear instructions on what to do next.
E-commerce websites are mostly the ones to require an almost
perfect user interaction. This affects aspects like website structure, layout,
performance and navigation. The shopping cart experience is also a fundamental
aspect that a user will experience. The user searches for a product, select
product options and quantity, checkout and complete the payment process. We can
analyse the steps that the user has to take to complete the purchase and
determine the simplicity of the process. If these web aspects are less
complicated and more straightforward, the user’s experience is more likely to
Usability tools- Bootswatch
The aim for using Bootswatch for the project was to enhance
the appearance and usability in order to improve the website navigation,
website layout and the front end of the website. Hotjar is the usability tool
used to access the user’s opinion on the website by responding to questions on
each page in order to utilise the feedback to improve the website.
Navigation is a critical component of website usability.
This determines how easy a user can interact with the website. Navigation is
but not limited to how the user can find information, pages and products on the
website, but it is also a way to assist users on where they currently are on
Designing a website with user interaction in mind will
ensure a satisfying user experience. This begins with the three ways a user can
interact or navigate through the website:
Buttons require the same techniques as the links. Depending
on the user’s internet connectivity, there might be a pause while the page
refreshes when a button is clicked, as a result, it is essential to have the
button respond in a way that enables the user to know that the particular
button was clicked successfully. It is also essential to allow the user to
notice clickable elements on the website by differentiating them from the rest
of the content on the site. User friendly buttons include:
button background colour
hover text colour
hover background colour
This tool makes it possible to analyse how users utilise the
website. The tool generates heatmaps for targeted pages of the website. Whenever
a user visits the website, the HTML page the user loads and screenshots are
saved and are later used to produce a heatmap report. The heatmap below is a
report containing recordings of usage behaviour on my ‘Posts’ page. This type
of report enables me to analyse where users are clicking the most and makes it
possible to discover any issues on the page that needs to be resolved.
The usability tool uncovered issues with the links on my ‘Posts’
page. The tool indicated that users were clicking blank places that where not clickable.
This was because the text on the page was not well defined. Links were included
in the text and there were not distinct. Bootswatch was used to differentiate and
customise the links.
Links can be used to access other websites, pages or files.
Links embedded on to a website automatically come with an underline unless the
style is changed. However, this might not look very appealing especially if
there are a lot of links on a web page. A technique used was to hide the
underline until the user hovers over that particular link. The problem with
this is that the user might miss the opportunity to click that link because it
is difficult to differentiate the plain words and the links if they all appear
the same unless the user hovers on it. Colouring the links might not fully
solve the issue considering the fact that some users may not see colour. The
usability tool allowed me to consider a great technique which was to differentiate
the links from the text and also the unvisited links from the visited links.
This improves the usability and enables the user to understand where they
currently are on the website.
Forms are other components that have the potential to positively
or negatively impact the user based on their design and simplicity. The default
form design is basic and is supported in most web browsers. Making changes to
the visual appearance of the form is necessary only if it does not complicate
its usability. The form fields, checkboxes, dropdown selections and submission
buttons should behave in a way that is easily accessible and makes the user
interaction as clear as possible. It should also be clear which fields are
mandatory and the type of information required. For example, most user’s get
frustrated after filling out a form only to find out an error that indicates
the password they entered needs certain special characters or the format of the
date they inserted is invalid.
Website usability is not only about the tools of
interaction, buttons, links and forms, it is also about how simple and
straightforward the overall design of the website is. If a user visits a
website and does not find the information they are looking for in less than 8
seconds, they are more likely to exit the site and go elsewhere. Great design
caters to the user’s time and aids in providing relevant information on
relevant pages. The home page of a website is usually the landing page, this
gives the introduction to the site and should always enable the user to know
what the site is all about at first glance preferably without having to scroll.
Although it is good practice to add content that makes the
website look batter, some contents might distract the user from the the most
important tasks that exists on the site. Building websites from a user’s point
of view is beneficial for it enables the developer to think through every
component added to the site and consider if it is really necessary or not. This
also gives the developer the ability to de-emphasize some contents to allow the
user to concentrate on the important elements.
The best way to improve usability is to collect accurate
feedback from users. Hotjar was used to collect visual feedback from users that
complete submit a quick questioner on the website. This usability tool provides
feedback widget to enable users to give their opinion on the website and rate
their experience. Below is a screenshot of the feedback widget on my website.
for Bootstrap https://bootswatch.com/Accessed Nov 27 2017
Ø https://www.hotjar.com Accessed Dec 05 2017