Website usability design strategies

There are a number of strategies to ensure quality website design. These include consistent testing, setting goals, and a very good understanding of the end user.
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Websites should be tested consistently, starting early in the development cycle and often throughout development. If possible, different aspects of website performance should be modularized and tested before full integration.

While creating a website is fairly easy with modern online tools, these tools don't usually provide for real world testing capability and are not a good substitute for an actual development cycle. There really is no alternative to user testing and this means understanding and identifying common tasks so that usability goals can be set and standard user testing protocols can then be implemented.

Perhaps the single most effective design strategy is to make certain that the site itself is user centered. In other words, if it comes down to designing a site that’s convenient for the customer or one that’s convenient for the company, you should design for customer convenience. This includes, but is not limited to, meeting or exceeding accessibility and universal design standards as well as making sure that the website is very mobile friendly. Setting such standards will automatically delineate what the optimum testing protocols are.

Staying in communication with users and potential users is also a very useful strategy. Knowing what users expect and knowing what they liked and didn’t like about other sites with similar themes or purposes can give designers an edge when it comes to instilling usability.

Also, be willing to bring in a fresh set of eyes to test usability before release. It’s very easy for people to get too close to a project and lose objectivity. You should also aim for the highest quality testers possible, the better the testers are, the more likely they will be worth the investment.

Exceeding expectations is the best strategy of all. When it comes to usability, set standards that are high and then go beyond them. Do everything possible to ensure that the user comes first. This will not only guarantee a quality website, but will reflect positively on your company as well.

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