Have you ever thought why your site is not that successful despite having good information architecture, smooth navigation, interface design and cutting-edge flash website templates? The reason could be the ’usability’ element that might be missing in your website.

The long held belief that ’Content is King’ is passe now. ’Usability’ has overtaken content to become the new ruler on the web.

What exactly is usability?

Usability means the factors that make a site user-friendly and easy to explore for the visitors. The faster the visitors obtain the information they seek, the sooner they would take the necessary action such as buying a product or signing up for more information or services.

If the visitor identifies himself with the benefits the web site has to offer, finds its products or services interesting, and gets curious about what more the site has to offer, we say it is ’high on usability’.

Key benefits of usability

1) Improves conversion rate

Usability plays a significant role in improving the total conversion rate making it a pleasure for the user to explore the site further without getting mixed up about where to go next. An increase in the number of visitors who turn into customers on your web site indicates a good ’conversion rate’.

2) Increases traffic

Usability also helps in increasing traffic to your website. With efficient usage of elements such as simple language, clear text labels etc, it becomes easier for various search engines to index your website.

3) Saves time

Focus on the usability factor right during the initial development stages of a website. This will enable you to make necessary changes later quickly as the need arises without starting from scratch.

4) Factors that improve usability

You can improve the usability of your website by following this checklist:

– Keep the language as simple as possible
– Use clear ink for highlighting the labels
– Build an easy navigation structure for the site
– Make sure the site structure is lucid, clear and understandable
– Make the content objective
– Focus each web page on just one theme or topic
– Provide clear click paths
– Mention contact details clearly on each and every web page
– Use semantic tags whenever possible
– Provide some personal information about the company on the "About Us" page
– Use ALT tags for all graphics, especially navigation graphics
– Give prime importance to optimal legibility while selecting text and background color
– Use either plain or extremely subtle colors for background patterns
– Place the navigation in a consistent location on every web page
– Equip each functional page with an attractive and appealing ’Call to Action’ button or link

In today’s hyper-competitive world, usability cannot be ignored at any cost. To make your website high on usability, hire a reputed web site developing company which specializes in providing affordable web services. But before letting them start off on your project, do check carefully their previous work or portfolio to ensure that they do give priority to the usability aspect in developing web sites.

Cyrus Bilimoria is a web site designer and amateur writer with wide experience in developing advanced interactive and http://www.saffron-multimedia.com/smooth-navigation-system.php>advanced web site design.