Usability Best Practices

Website usability refers to how web visitors experience the site. Following best practices ensures that people will have an easier time finding information.


  • Organize information according to how site visitors will look for it. Don't force navigation to match your internal structure. Use focus groups to understand how visitors search for information.

  • Keep section and page names simple and short -- to one or two words, if possible. Don't get stuck trying to name categories too literally. For example, "Our Friends, Partners, Affiliates, Neighbors and Associates" can probably be summed up in one word.

  • Flat navigation structures (one level of navigation) are fine for simple sites. If you have more than 8 categories, you may require tiered navigation (more than one level of navigation), drop down menus or dynamic menus (driven by an internal database).

  • Every page should have a way for a visitor to get back to the previous page, section page, and home page. Use breadcrumb trails or dynamic menu-ing. Fletcher templates do this automatically.

  • Text links should link to the word or phrase that defines the link. Instead of "click here to find a glossary," try "use our glossary"...