For all those who have not yet crafted some strategies for enhancing the website experience, this is probably the best guide to start with. We are here suggesting you some ideas as in how you can of how you can apply ‘10 Jakob Nielsen Usability Heuristics’ to generate leads for websites in the B2B environment.
To those who are scratching their minds thinking what this is all about, here is a brief. Usability heuristics are basically the best practices for user interface design as proposed by Jakob Nielsen, a leading web usability consultant. You can succeed in minimizing the friction between your business and the users while ensuring that the buyers manage to focus upon the business message rather than getting distracted by a poor interface. Through this post we will be focusing upon the first five Heuristics followed by the other 5 in next post.
Heuristic 1: Make Your System Status Highly Visible
Jakob Nielsen has said firmly throughout the research, “The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.” In layman’s terms, a lead generating web design should always focus upon communicating the buyers about where they are while navigating the site. This could be achieved through:
Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumb navigation is a doppelganger of GPS that helps the buyers in understanding their existing location over the website throughout the navigation period. So, use breadcrumb navigation over the website for everything ranging from location to attribution.
Page headers – Make sure that the header of webpage resembles the links that the buyer clicked. Other than being a reliable SEO practice, it is helps in delivering commendable user experience.
Highlight the selected menu option – When the user clicks over a navigation item, make sure it gets highlighted or underlined so that the buyer is able to understand about the menu options he is currently navigating.
Progress bars – Displaying the progress in the form of page-load indicators could be of great help. It is best when you offer the buyers with options such as a calculator widget or a request processor.
Thank you pages –When the user has bought something from your site such as an eBook or subscribes for newsletter or webinar, redirect them to a Thank You page so that they get notified about their action getting fulfilled.
Heuristic #2: Match Your System to the Real World
Jakob Nielsen says: “The system should speak the users’ language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.”
In layman’s terms it means that you should use phrases and words that match with what your buyers have in their mind rather than using jargons. In simple words, the language that you use should come directly from the buyers mouths. For this, you will have to interact with the customers and understand their expectations from product and how it has changed their life.
Heuristic #3: Allow User Control and Freedom
Jakob Nielsen says: “Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.”
In layman’s terms, make sure that you eliminate all those elements that seem to have taken control from the user. The three main instances, where this heuristic applies in web design are: Pop-up offers and automatic actions like auto-play videos and automatic carousels.
Pop-up offers: We all know about those websites that display a pop up window when you are asked to join a site. Such popup windows are annoying and could lead to the buyer rejecting the offer and leaving the site. In case, you wish to obtain feedback from the buyers, then make sure that you offer them 100% control by letting them close the offer whenever the popup appears.
Auto play videos: Another peeving factor for buyers is when they visit a website and the they automatically play a video. This could seem an irritating factor for some users. The best that you can do is to let the users play the video only if they want to.
Automatic Carousels: Yet another example of loss of control is automatic sliding banners. Instead of implementing such distracting elements, you should display the information in a way that users feel it easy to discover and explore the information.
Heuristic #4: Use Consistency and Standards
Jakob Nielsen says: “Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions.”
In layman’s terms, never ever subject your buyers to confusion. Make sure they do not have to struggle in terms of where they have to navigate over the website. Websites are meant to be simple and easy to navigate, anything complex would not seem a website but a puzzle.
For instance, you can display consistency over your website through the use of same white space over all web pages and a well-organized hierarchy for data. Maintaining consistency will help in making the website seem learnable easier to use.
Heuristic #5: Encourage Efficiency and Flexibility of Use
Jakob Nielsen says: “Accelerators — unseen by the novice user — may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.”
In layman’s terms, make all those menus easiest to navigate that are searched by the users frequently. Offer the users with instant access to all those options that they navigate the most i.e. keep the flow limited yet relevant options. For instance, the most popular and searched options are sign up, sign in, get a free trial, or learn more.
Make use of Call-to-Action for making the visitors return to the website. Always use call-to-action shortcut over the top of website. This is quite important as your buyers will prefer to visit your site frequently when going through evaluation stage. This call-to-action makes it easy for the user to reach the destination.