In this article we'll cover some basics of website usability, in other words, making your website user-friendly. This article in no way covers everything you should keep in mind prior to designing your website - there is much more. I have listed five questions you should initially consider. I will be brief with each question just to give you a few tips to get you started. Keep in mind that testing is most important task and should be conducted frequently.
a.Do visitors know which page they are viewing?
The best way to ensure your visitors don't get lost on your website is if you title your pages. Make sure this title is title in your navigation area too. On your home page, or one that is your "index.html" or "index.htm", you don't have to title page "HOME PAGE". It could be titled "About Us" or a page you want your visitors to see as soon as they open your website. If your "index.html" page is your "About Us" page, then put header/title "About Us" at top of page. In other words, every page should have a heading so that your visitors will know what page they are currently viewing.
b.Can your visitor easily get to other pages using your navigational area?
Make sure that if you have 5 main pages in your website, there are 5 links in your navigation area with exact titles as titles on your pages. With this in mind, don't make your titles too long. If you have articles on your website, make one link titled "Articles" in your navigation area. On "Articles" page, list your article titles in body of that particular page because article titles will be longer.
c.Does my background color and text color make a good combination?
You will need to take this into serious consideration. If your color scheme is unappealing, visitors will leave no matter how good your subject matter may be. If combination causes eye strain or headache, your visitors will leave your website and may not return. Examples: blue background with red text, lime green background with yellow text, red background with yellow text, etc. One other background I would like to mention: patterned/tiled backgrounds. These can be overwhelming to eye. No text will be readable on these types of backgrounds - at least not without difficulty. If you must have a patterned/tiled background, make it look like a watermark - full color patterned/tiled backgrounds will send your visitors away quicker than ice cream melts on a hot stove.
d.Are my photos too big or do I have too many on a page?