11 Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Site Usability

One of the most important parts of a good website is usability. It can measure how easy (or difficult) it is for someone, who may or may not have seen your site before, get around and use your site. It pretty much includes how easily your visitors can find their way around your site, how quickly they can find exactly what they need, and ease of user interaction.

Here is a list of easy ways to quickly improve your site's usability.

  1. Place your logo in the top left corner and make it a link to the home page.
  2. Make sure that the text is a size that is easy to read.
  3. Don't fill up your sidebar with useless widgets.
  4. Link to other pages within the content.
  5. Put some spacing in between each paragraph and list item.
  6. Use a custom 404 error page.
  7. Underline your links and make them a different colour from normal text.
  8. Add a search box on every page, where it is easy to find.
  9. Make sure you don't have any broken links.
  10. Provide ways for the user to share the post with others at the bottom of each post.
  11. Include a few useful navigation links in your footer.

Can you think of any other ways to improve site usability? Be sure to leave a comment.

Also: Happy Thanksgiving!

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22 Comments

  1. October 12, 2009

    Hey there! This is rod from Brazil and I think those tips are really useful for improving a site's usability. I hope to get more tips soon.
    Cheers.

    • January 28, 2010

      I'm removing useless widgets now on my blog. Thanks again for the tip. I really wanted to do this but I'm hesitating because, for me it looks nice. but my site is getting slower and slower so I guess, your advice is right.

  2. October 12, 2009

    Great list. Some seem so simple, yet they are easy to overlook. Looking forward to more tips!

  3. Susan
    October 12, 2009

    Make things obvious. Use common nomenclature. Use breadcrumbs on pages to help people find their way back and know where they are. Don't build your content around SEO. Build the SEO around the content.

  4. October 12, 2009

    @rod, @Stacy: It's great that you liked it!

    @Susan: Those are also some very helpful tips! Thanks!

  5. October 14, 2009

    I would also add related posts with thumbnails if possible. This will not only make it more useful for the reader but also give you more pageviews which is great.

    Another thing to think about is threaded comments. By adding those it becomes easier to have a discussion.

  6. October 14, 2009

    @Stefan: Very useful tips. I am planning on implementing those features in this theme, at some point.

  7. October 14, 2009

    Thanks Your information....

    its very useful

  8. October 16, 2009

    As for me #4 and #6 are the most important tips from this article . However , the rest good too,every new/good webmaster should follow this rules..

  9. October 26, 2009

    Very Informative Tips. We will apply this techniques to our Future Projects. Thanks sharing.

  10. January 25, 2010

    Great steps and very informative.Thanks for sharing..

    I like to share the ways to improve E-commerce site usability..

    Identify users with their e-mail address.
    Break up the ordering process into bite size chunks.
    Tell users where they are and where they're going.
    Don't make the ordering process harder than it needs to be.
    Address common user queries.
    Highlight required fields.
    Make the ordering process flexible.
    Put users' minds at ease.
    Have users confirm their order before buying then provide confirmation.
    Send a confirmation e-mail.

  11. why custom 404? what if you just use the default (sorry, page not found) ?

    • May 5, 2010

      You want to have your own custom 404 error page because the default one, well, sucks.

      If a user stumbles across it and it just shows the default "sorry, page not found" message, it can often leave the user very confused, and the default message is not very helpful at all.

      You want to customize it specifically for your site, and include a way for your users to find their way around your site, and maybe even a search box to find what they were looking for.

  12. June 11, 2010

    Very Informative. Thanks from Osenu technology Solutionz

  13. June 17, 2010

    Very Informative tips

  14. September 9, 2010

    thanks for Ways

    dear help me lot

  15. September 27, 2010

    Thanks for the nice information. I am sure, I will tweet this to my twitter account. This will help a lot of users.

  16. September 4, 2011

    Simple and effective list. See so many websites that neglect these points.

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