Website Usability for Beginners

Usability 101

Have you ever wondered why your site receives thousands of visits a day but continues to result in a low number of signups, leads or purchases? A site can look fantastic and be well optimized to appear in the search engines but many companies and organizations tend to overlook the most important part of developing a website – website usability.

Ensuring your website is “user-friendly” will not only translate into a better overall user experience but will also impact your websites overall performance and bottom line. For example, after optimizing a key landing page, our client, Info-Tech, saw a 61% jump in conversion rate and an amazing 375% jump in ROI.

So…where do you start?

Website Usability Checklist for Beginners:

While usability affects practically every element of your website, the following list is a good place to start to ensure you’re on the right path to a user-friendly and revenue generating site:

Language and Content

  • Are key page elements (ex. call-to-action) above the fold?
  • Are your headings and links prominent, easy to follow and consistent?
  • Is content scannable, easy to read and covers one topic at a time?


  • Is the navigation consistent across all pages?
  • Are the links appropriately named, clear and concise?
  • Is there a link to the homepage on every page?


  • Does your site take too long to load?
  • How does your site render across all browsers and operating systems?
  • Does your site have easy to find breadcrumbs?
  • Are there any broken links?


  • Is the homepage digestible in 5 seconds and indicate the sites purpose?
  • Is your company contact information clearly visible and available on all pages?
  • Are page layouts consistent and include a consistent logo?

System and User Feedback

  • Can users easily get in touch with you?
  • Are forms easy to use?
  • Is there a “Help” Section?
  • Are any of your forms resulting in errors that prevent visitors from submitting them?
Website Usability - Key Homepage Usability Elements

Website Usability for Beginners – Key Homepage Elements

By ensuring your site is consistent across all elements and that all important content is easy to find and digest, your website will be off to a great start in becoming user-friendly. In addition to going through the above checklist, check out some of these other tools that can help on your way to a usable website.

Additional Usability Tools:

  • Heat Maps: these show you where users look at your site – literally. Click Heat offers a free heat map service that you upload to your server.
  • GTMetrix: enter in your domain and this site will show what’s slowing you down.
  • Google Analytics: look at your sites most popular content, where users are clicking and where users fall off the conversion funnel.
  • Website Optimizer: website optimizer is another free service from Google that allows you to do website testing and experiments.

If you’re still a bit lost about what to do about your sites usability, or would like some more information please contact us! Additionally, take a look at the InfoTech case study to learn how our Website Usability services resulted in a 375% increase in ROI for the company.

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