Site usability or user friendliness is, without a doubt, the deciding factor on whether a web site succeeds or fails. However, in the never ending quest for high tech or creativity of design innovation, it is often relegated a back seat. On other occasions it is not given enough attention simply because of sheer ignorance. However, user friendliness is not an elusive concept nor is it subjective. It is based on rigorous research and can be attained by easily applied solutions.
However, as they refer to a relatively recent and emerging technology, these standards are not definitive and should be subject to regular review and improvements. Rules may be broken and there will be many instances where an alternative to what is proposed will be of more use in a particular situation. Standards can never remain stagnant and as such the rules here will need to be reviewed and revised to reflect the ever changing nature of Web and Browser development.
|Focus||Set out the subject of your site and keep the focus|
|Consistency||Make sure your site is consistent. (Colours, Navigation Buttons etc.)|
|Efficiency||Strive to make download quick and easy|
|Navigation||Keep your site navigation simple|
|Portability||Avoid a site that has too much server or browser incompatibility|
|Maintenance||Keep your site up to date and avoid becoming a "cobweb"|
|Feedback||Ensure there is a mechanism for user feedback and listen to it!|
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