Two Best Website Design Recommendations
What are the two best website recommendations, what do they mean to me, and what are some tips to achieve these recommendations? The two best recommendations are: accessibility and usability. Read on to discover what these two important terms mean for you and your website.
- Definition: easy to approach, reach, enter, speak with, or use.
- Why is this important? Do you have a friend who is in a wheelchair or who uses a cane? Do you know someone who is colorblind? Caring for an elderly parent who can not "do" stairs so well? What does any of these have to do with web design? These are issues of accessibility in our physical world. Good web designers & developers deal with accessibility in the virtual world. Behind the scenes, in the code – is a world of computer programming choices that have been made, which all add up to very good accessibility – or very bad accessibility, in the cases where the designers and developers do not optimize for accessibility. If we do not decide to make accessibility a priority in web design, then the website will extremely suffer from loss of traffic.
- Tip: Ask your developer to give examples of code they've written where good accessibility came to fruition. If he / she does not know what you're talking about or is not able to explain it to you in laymen's terms, run the other direction.
- Tip: If you're the person designing the website, ask yourself this: have you tested the proposed architecture on a wide enough sample of people to be confident that the site reaches the maximum population, without excluding certain subsets of people? You need to.
- Definition: available or convenient for use, capable of being used.
- Why is this important? Remember the first time you tried to roller skate or ski or read Shakespeare or went to a party where you did not know that many people? When you do something for the first time, there can be a lot of fumbling around, until you get to a level of comfort in the task. Good usability minimizes the likelihood of your users fumbling around your website. It means a lot of logical thinking has been given to the user's experience with your website. If a user or visitor needs to fumble around, searching for things he or she just can not find, then that is an example of poor usability
- Tip: Wondering if your site is usable? Test it out. Select 10 people who vary in age, professional background, and tastes and style. Sit them in front of your website and watch them navigate your website. Take notes. If they hesitate or ask you a question on how to do something, then that is valuable research. It tells you the specific areas that need to be improved. If anyone asks you because something is the way it is, that is also very important information. Test, test, and test & test again.