OK, so your blog is awesome. It aces each of the five tests of awesomeness in our post about a month ago.
But it is usable? It had better be! What does that mean, and why is it important? Let’s dip into one of the leading books on web usability: Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited (that’s the title of the 2014 edition), by Steve Krug.
Steve observes that “people don’t like to puzzle over how to do things” when they’re using the web. There are of course exceptions, but it’s unlikely that your blog is one of them (unless you’re blogging about Sudoku or other puzzles).
There are a couple of reasons why usability is important. Many of us would say that it’s important mainly because our blog has many competitors, covering similar topics, and a frustrated user may Google over to one of those sites.
Usability is important – it’s “like good lighting in a store: it just makes everything seem better”.Click to tweet
Another reason why usability is important–and this one is Steve’s top reason–is that it’s “like good lighting in a store: it just makes everything seem better.” That second reason certainly resonates with us at Caspian, as consultants in marketing and design!
When a user arrives at your blog, she will do a visual search of the post or page she landed on for relevant content. So do not clutter up your blog with stuff unlikely to be relevant to your users–even if it’s clever, even if it took your colleagues a long time to come up with, even if you all think it’s funny.
If your user doesn’t find what she’s looking for on that post or page, she will probably look elsewhere. If she feels positive toward your blog, she will look elsewhere on that blog. One of the ways in which she can do so is by using the search box. You do have a search box on your blog, don’t you?
If your blog doesn’t have a search box, that might not seem like a problem to the user. After all, her browser has a box so that she can do a web search to find a site more relevant than yours.
Do not clutter up your blog with stuff unlikely to be relevant to your users – even if you think it’s funny.Click to tweet
Not having a search box is a problem for your blog, and a problem with your blog. It’s also a problem for the user: she will never find the awesome and highly relevant content that you worked so hard to provide, because she never got to the right post. But she’ll never know what she missed.
YOU ON USABILITY
You’ve read some of our views on usability (and some of Steve Krug’s). We’d love to hear your views. What have you done to make your blog more usable? What are you considering doing? Can we help?
Could we make this blog more usable? (You’ll notice that it has a very prominent search box!) Would you like to see more posts on usability?