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Websites and Web apps throughout the years have become more complex as technology advances. Production has therefore also become more complicated and evolved, and therefore a site's success hinges on how users perceive and how well they can interact with the site.

 

Questions asked might include: "Do I value this website or does it add to my life value? Is it usable and efficient? Can I understand it?" Questions like these are what people going to sites ask unconsciously as they interact with the content. The answers to these questions help users decide if they will become regular visitors to the site.

 

Auditing site design should be centered around website visitors answering these questions positively. Here is a guide to help you understand what is left out many times during site auditing, and what you can do to make sure a site or application carries what it needs to better user's experience and increase traffic to the sites.


Usability

Is the site user-friendly? Many audits on sites leave out this part. When looking at the site, from the user's point of view, can someone easily find what products are available for example. And if they want to navigate the site to get something, is there more than one avenue to find it? For example, on a charity website you might want to put a donation link there so that inspired people can give. However if you only have a link on one of the pages in the site, 3 or 4 clicks into it, it might get less traffic and therefore less donations. Try to put a link on 3-4 different pages of the site. Also make sure one click takes them to a giving page.

 

Perceived Value of the system

If the site looks terrible or like it's from 2001, people are going to lose interest quickly. It is odd that website look alone promotes value of a product, but audits sometimes miss the importance of making a site modern and up-to-date with current trends. Users will see an old-looking site and immediately think that your product or selling point is also old and out-of-date, and if the same material is available on a nicer, newer looking layout, the user's perceived value of the other site will be noted and your site will lose their traffic.

 

Languages

Some sites miss the fact that languages other than English are helpful. It is possible to add in other languages to your site to increase your marketability to the world through good subtitling services. If you also have a video on your website you may want to translate and localize it for other global users that will visit the site. Here is a possible helpful link:

 

Efficiency in Performing Tasks

Is the checkout process on the site easy and quickly done, or is it cumbersome with many steps? Don't forget to audit these things. Are the input fields easy to fill out or do they take a long time? Is the completion process easy or will the user have to go through the entire process three times to actually finish a purchase? Sometimes a user will stop using a sight mid-purchase simply because they can't be bothered to fill it out, or they need to leave and have no more time to fill out the form. Then they never revisit the site because they remember the negative result the first time they visited.

 

Many people seeking to audit a site miss key things a user might identify as making the site worthwhile and pleasant to use. Also a negative experience might take away traffic from a site. "Do I value this website or does it add to my life value? Is it usable and efficient? Can I understand it?" are all questions to ask so as to not miss anything when checking a website or application. These steps will help the audit and also the user's experience, and the better experience will lead to more customers coming to the site.

 

 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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