Your website should mimick the iPhone

Posted on April 28, 2011

 

The reason most Apple fans put forward for the iPopularity is ‘usability.’ If you’ve ever seen someone try to open a screw-top bottle with a bottle opener, or spent 20 minutes trying to figure out the instructions for an Ikea bookshelf, you’ll know how easily usability can go wrong.

People react instinctively to new situations, rarely slowing down to read the instructions. Apple’s i-technologies tend to go down so well because, through extensive testing, they anticipate what the user is going to do. On your website, users will go for whatever seems to work first. Unfortunately, when usability is something that’s not obvious to the specific user group, you can end up with problems.

Quite a few websites run into issues in this area, and it usually comes from the assumption that your customers think like you do. Some areas to check are:

*Search terms. Good search engine optimisation firms will mention the need for search testing and keyword research, and it’s important to understand why. The terms we assume target users like aren’t always the best choice.

*Navigation. Again, paths that seem logical to site owners may not work for site users. Your paths may be European Food Council > Categories > Cheshire, but your customers may think more Savouries > Cheese > Cheshire.

*Widgets. Any applications you offer can boost your SEO, but only if they are easy and obvious to use.

It’s vital to understand your users’ thinking for your SEO plan. Running your site through a few tests before your main SEO launch helps you spot any problems.

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