Usability (the user experience)
When we talk about “usability and information architecture,” we’re really asking you: is your website easy to understand and navigate and does it make people want to return. Usability and information architecture is about presenting information in a sensible way so that all your processes are smooth. If you’re selling products, the shopping experience should be simple. If you’re raising funds, donating should be easy. Good usability makes your website as trouble-free as possible.
Smooth navigation, positive results
If your website is frustrating to navigate or understand, you’re going to lose business (and face). For users, the web is about instant gratification, not hard work. If you give visitors what they want right away, you’ll leave them with a positive experience that will reflect well on your organization as a whole. A positive experience engenders loyalty, and a simple website is easy to share, which will lead to more growth. By controlling the user experience with good usability and information architecture, you’ll control your image.
Logical flow leaves a lasting impression
Your website content should be organized in a logical way. Make use of headlines and subheads so that blocks of text are easy to scan. And don’t underestimate the value of white space. Websites that are cluttered with too much information are almost always off putting. Most importantly, put yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor to your site (or have other people check it out for you), and ask yourself: does this website accomplish what I want it to in just a few clicks?