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Web usability is the ease of use of a website. Some broad goals of usability are the presentation of information and choices in a clear and concise way, a lack of ambiguity and the placement of important items in appropriate areas. Another important element of web usability is ensuring that the content works on various devices and browsers. Another concern for usability is ensuring that the website is appropriate for all ages and genders.
The idea of Usability is centered on the concept of making the interface of the website more users friendly. Some of the common aspects of Usability are – simplicity, consistency, familiarity, clarity, credibility, relevancy and accessibility. The focus is to make users feel at ease and remove all the bottlenecks from the conversion path so that users don’t have to deal with any inconvenience while browsing or purchasing a product online.
As more results of usability research become available, this leads to the development of methodologies for enhancing web usability. There are a number of usability testing tools available in the market.
In the context of e-commerce websites, the meaning of web-usability is narrowed down to efficiency: triggering sales and/or performing other transactions valuable to the business.
Web usability received renewed attention as many early e-commerce websites started failing in 2000. Whereas fancy graphical design had been regarded as indispensable for a successful e-business application during the emergence of internet in the 1990s, web-usability protagonists said quite the reverse was true. They advocated the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid), which had proven to be effective in focusing end-user attention.
- Eye tracking, a fast and accurate usability tool
- Multivariate testing, a statistical testing of user responses
- Web development
- Web navigation
- Nielsen, Jakob. (August 2003). Usability 101: Introduction to Usability. Alertbox: Current Issues in Web Usability. Retrieved from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html
- Leibowitz. Brandon (21 February 2014). "Website Usability: Virtual Elephants of the Internet Room". Bosmol Social Media News. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- GOSS Interactive. (October 2011). Conducting a website review and implementing results for increased customer engagement and conversions. Retrieved from http://www.gossinteractive.com/community/whitepapers/conducting-a-website-review-and-implementing-results-for-increased-customer-engagement-and-conversions
- Usability.gov—usability basics with focus on web usability
- Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility—accessibility is a crucial subset of usability for people with disabilities. This W3C/WAI suite includes a section on involving users in testing for accessibility.
- Usability News from the Software Usability Research Laboratory at Wichita State University