It’s a well known fact that internet users, on average, spend less than a single minute on any given page unless there is a compelling reason for them to stay. This means that, when you’re planning your website design, you have to design with ease, and speed, of use in mind.

Across the internet, the average time spent on any given page is falling consistently. This makes it more important than ever before that you engage your user immediately. If they don’t find what they want straight away, they’ll go somewhere else. And with millions of web pages available, there is no shortage of alternatives.

Keep Your Web Design Simple

Web design, and especially navigation design, is not the place to test out your innovative ideas. Users aren’t prepared to struggle with anything they don’t understand instantly. Make it easy to find anything on your site, or your users will go somewhere else.

The only assumption you can afford to make about your users is that they will click on what is obvious.

Web Design Usability Criteria

According to ISO, (the International Organization for Standardization), usability is defined as follows:

“The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use”

The official definition can be expanded with the following criteria that you should bear in mind when planning your web design usability:

* Effective
* Efficient
* Engaging
* Easy To Use
* Error Tolerant

Naturally, not all of these criteria are applicable to every application, but when it comes to evaluating the usability of your design, they make a good place to start.

Also keep in mind that “Effective” and “Efficient” are not the same thing. Efficiency refers to how quickly the desired goal (or the user) can be accomplished. Effectiveness refers to how well it is completed.

In Conclusion

Experts estimate that you have an average of 4 seconds from when a visitor first arrives on your page to catch their attention. If you succeed, you have an additional 4 or 5 seconds to convince them that you have what they’re looking for.

It’s clear that, in order to achieve this, a great deal of attention has to be paid to your web design, your web development, and your content.