Usability is not something you see, it’s something that happens. You visit a site, the design invites you in, you look around, next thing you know you’re sprawled out on the couch with your shoes off. Welcome, make yourself at home. Usability Defined In practical terms, usability measures how easily site visitors are able to complete desired actions. To test how usable a website is, we ask: \tDoes it load properly on all browsers and devices? \tCan visitors quickly find what they’re looking for? \tIs it abundantly clear what you do? \tHow long does it take to fill out a form or place an order? Glide points of emphasis: \tIntuitive Navigation: Only include essential pages in the main menu and make it easy to get around. \tSound Organization: Information is presented in order of importance. \tClear Visual Cues: Use contrast and spacing to draw the eye where you want it. \tNatural Language: Speak to visitors like you’d speak to friends. \tZero Clutter: If you don’t need it, delete it. Everything else will stand out more. \tFollow Web Standards: Use the latest CSS, HTML, and accessibility standards as a guide. \tResponsive Design: The site automatically adjusts to fit different screen sizes and devices. How important is it? A hard to use website is like having a poorly laid out store manned by unfriendly employees. How people feel about interacting with you online corresponds directly to their satisfaction with your brand. To go a step further, research has shown that an easy to use website actually increases the level of trust between a site visitor and a business. All things considered, we’d say usability is critical to good web design.