Getting visitors to your website is only half the battle. To be effective, your website has to be structured to help visitors find their way around easily. If it isn't, visitors will click on to some other site and never give yours a second thought. Yet, all it takes is some careful planning to make sure your visitors can find their way around without too much difficulty. This planning and testing process is called "Web Site Usability".

Web Site Usability is the balancing of information and aesthetics. Usability also means designing the site for your visitors rather than yourself, while still balancing the needs of your visitors with the goals of your business.

To be sure your site is easy to use, go through the site and ask yourself the questions in the lists below. Then, show the site to a few people who have never seen it before. Ask them to answer the following questions:

For all sites
  1. Can visitors find information easily? - Make sure that you site is easy to navigate. Don't hide anything in your site that you want the customers to access easily. A navigation bar is one way to ensure that content (pages, products, information) is found easily on your site.
  2. Is the navigation clear and consistent throughout the site? - The navigation system should be in the same place on every page and have the same format. Visitors will become confused and frustrated if links appear and disappear unpredictably.
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