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7 Site Usability Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Site usability is important for every brand looking to keep customers happy and spending. Avoid these seven mistakes!

Sometimes when you are working on your brand new website, you can get too carried away in the design details that you forget your site has to be usable as well. Choosing the perfect colors, the best photos and sharp headlines are all important, but it is all a waste of time if people can’t use your website. Make sure that you aren’t hindering users by checking your site against these 7 common mistakes many people make.

  1.  Not having your phone number on every page

Not having your phone number present on every single page means that people have to work that much harder to get in touch with you. Even though you might have a contact form on every page or a detailed phone directory elsewhere, you need to have one phone number that users can easily find. It is preferable that the number be placed in the top right hand corner for easy access.

  1.  It Isn’t Clear How to Get Back Home

Your site’s main navigation bar is highly competitive real estate, and many people will opt to delete a link to the homepage to save space. Users that either enter your site through a sub page or just feel the need to get back home can become very frustrated if they can’t find an easy way to return to your homepage. It isn’t necessary that the link be part of the main navigation, but having it in a top utility nav and clicking your site’s logo will suffice.

Also make sure that the “home” link isn’t visible on the homepage, or at least isn’t clickable. This can lead to confusion as people may doubt if they are really on the correct page. It also simply wastes users’ time if they click the homepage link and are brought to the same page.

  1.  No Easy Way to Search the Entire Site

Users should be able to search your site and all of its content directly from the homepage. Don’t limit your search to just pages on your site. Make sure to include any news posts, file archives or events in the scope of search. It is extremely helpful to give users an input box on the homepage to enter search terms instead of just giving them a link to a search page. Also make sure that if a user doesn’t enter a search term but clicks your search button that they are taken to a “search” page as opposed to experiencing a failed search.

  1.  Navigating with a Finger Causes Mis-clicked Links

All new websites should be employing responsive website design techniques to ensure users can access the site on mobile devices. Sometimes, however, they will overlook the size of the touch target for links. Apple’s iPhone Human Interface Guidelines recommends a minimum target size of 44 pixels wide 44 pixels tall. Android’s UI guidelines recommends a minimum tap target size of roughly 7mm, or 48 pixels. It is also recommended that there is ample space around your links so that people don’t accidentally click the wrong one. No other tap targets should be within 32 pixels.

  1.  Your Homepage is Devoid of Copy

This is becoming a common mistake found on a variety of websites. It is crucial to have at least some copy on your homepage that describes briefly what your company can do for your client. This copy should also quickly communicate how you are different from your competitors. Having quality copy on the homepage can also be extremely valuable for a site’s SEO. The length of the content required can vary as long as your value proposition is communicated clearly.

  1.  Your Contact Page is Just for Contacting You

Mentioned previously, you need your phone number on every page, so this shouldn’t be the only thing users find on your contact page. Visitors will look to this page for much more than just a way to get in touch with your company. Add in physical location addresses as well as your mailing address. It can be very helpful to include an embedded Google map and an easy-to-use contact form.

  1.  Your Forms Are Hard to Use

Keep your contact and request forms simple and easy to complete. Don’t ask too many questions as people may feel the information being requested is too invasive. Don’t require fields that you don’t deem absolutely necessary. It could make a big difference when it comes to getting more leads. By removing unnecessary fields, you might find a drastic increase in conversions.

These simple mistakes could be blocking your users from converting or completing their sale. By taking the time to think about how a visitor will use your site, it will ensure that all the information they need is easily accessible.