Online Publishing Secret #5: Create User-Centric Websites

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You can have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do, and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Mequoda has developed a Website Design Scorecard, which includes 14 design guidelines that we use to review websites. Using the criteria we’ve determined for each of these 14 guidelines, you can easily evaluate your own site’s usability and design. By reviewing your site’s Mequoda Website Scorecard—the scores for each of the 14 guideline items and the average score—you can clearly see the overall effectiveness of your site and easily understand the areas that operate well and those that need work.

  • Through website usability testing activities, we have determined that many websites today are rather mediocre.
  • In an effort to keep up with changing technology, websites are often remodeled over and over, which usually results in a complicated mess.
  • In our own testing of websites, we’ve found that the average user’s task completion rate falls in the range of 70 percent when offered five tasks. For some sites, it’s below 50.
  • Our research indicates that complex websites will function much better when untangled to create a network of websites.
  • The interface must be intuitive and uncomplicated, site navigation is simple and quick and responses or orders are easy to facilitate.

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