Website usability myths and facts that people know little about

Times are changing and indeed, so much is changing with time. A few years back, if you were keen to follow, you remember how easy it was to do website search engine optimization – just making sure that you repeat the keywords as many times as possible (but of course in a logical way).  Now things are never the same again since Google and other search engines focus not only on the keyword usage but on a range of other factors, one of them being website usability.

Well, that is not the only reason why website owners and web masters are so conscious of website usability these days. The most important reason, perhaps, is the fact that there is a very stiff competition online.  It is clear that people will not spend time on a website that has poor usability as they can simply move on to another and find the same content, on a better interface.

This phenomenon has seen a number of theories being developed about optimizing your website for an easy use. As you would expect, some of these theories carry a lot of important facts but others are nothing better than mare myths. Take the following for example:

Myth 1: The Three Click Rule

This rule states that website users get frustrated if they have to make more than three clicks before getting the information they seek on your website. Well, theoretically, you will agree with this claim. However, research has shown that many website users make more than three clicks in search of information on a given site, provided the website has a nice user interface with which the user interacts with ease and pleasure.

Myth 2: The Page Fold Theory

This theory suggests that as you design your website, you should be keen to place all your important content at the top of the page (that is the page fold), where the reader can be able to see it without having to scroll down the page. Contrary to this, studies have shown that the length of the page has no influence on the likelihood that a website user will scroll down to find the information they seek. However, that’s only true if you are able to organize your web content well such that the user is convinced of finding the information if they scroll down the page.

The good thing is that most of the other facts have remained relevant and thanks to the many studies that have been carried out on the field of website usability, the facts are clearer. A high page speed for your website, well organized content with short paragraphs and sub-headings, a good choice of font size, style and color and a generally attractive website layout enhance your website usability.

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