Usability on the Web is vital if you want to have customers continue to come back. A research has found that only 42% of Web users find what they require on any given Web page which leaves the remaining 58% still searching. This means that Usability of a website is central in order to get sales and make money. If your customers can't find what they’re looking for, they won't be purchasing, and odds are, they won't be returning. It doesn't matter how new and inventive your site is, the fact is cool doesn't cut it.

Many people believe that graphics make the Web site more usable. Another group feels that they make sites unusable. Neither group is right. According to a study, the amount of images on a page has no perceptible effect on the collection of information, with two exceptions that include animation and download time. These are the findings that website designers should always keep in mind.

It's also important for the website designers to know that when searching for information, users want information, not fancy, arty sites. A really common format for sites right now is called a "Shell Site". These sites are where the navigation is developed and then the content is tossed into that format or shell. It is found that when a user is searching information, shell sites are very difficult to use. Because the links are the same on all navigation within the site, they don't add anything new once they have been assessed. Therefore, when a user is searching information, the navigation shell is generally abandoned as an information source instantly.

If a user doesn't click on the Search button, they are 50% more expected to get the information they are searching than if they do. This is alarming until you think about how most search engines control searches and results. A lot of sites have numerous different search engines for the Web site. These may be intuitive to the Web designer, but often the user doesn't know what the difference is (or even recognize that there is a difference). Users don't know what they will get when they search. They may be getting a list of pages on this site, the Web as a whole, a sub-set of this site, or something wholly different. Often the search results are apparently unrelated to what the reader searches on. There’s a perfect solution for this problem in the shape of pay per click or paid advertising which results in your website appearing on top searches. An alternative for pay per click is search engine optimization which elevates your site’s search rankings on competitive industry keywords.

For enhancing your website's usability, you should test its usability with your users. Another important thing you should do is focus on your web content. The web content will get people to your site and give them the information so they keep coming back. It's also recommended to put lots of links on your site so that your readers can navigate as easily as possible. What is intuitive to you might be unclear to the user, so give your readers a lot of different ways to find to the information on your site.

By Kate Henlay

Kate Hanley is an expert on online media solutions, web development and website designer in Dubai. He is associated with Seismology Online; a leading firm deals in search engine optimization in Dubai, UAE along with 360 online media solutions. He has vast experience of working in Dubai online solution providers market.