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We've explored the need to make a good first impression on each new visitor to your website. A large part of achieving that objective is wrapped up in website usability. What does usability mean? Call it ease of use, intuitive interface. Usability might be represented by the KISMIF principle, .

Let's assume you have placed an order and together we have worked out the details of look, feel and content that will best achieve the objective of your site. We know what we're going to do graphically, what links we will include; e.g., the goods list will stand out by being highlighted with red and large font size; news will be shown in separate showy blocks. We launch the site and it seems to do its job.

You think, "Aha! This is how the site should work.". But if you tried to trace how visitors ramble over the site, what they look at, what they see, what they click, you would discover that many never get to goods list, not noticing the big red banner. Some use the search, jump to certain page and apparently thought they wanted and now can't imagine what to do. Others have to wait until menu buttons are loaded to use one of them. Still others find it takes a long time to locate the button to the "shopping cart". These visitor activities are usually hidden from the site owner and he takes effectiveness as a matter of course while it might have been dozens times better. To make the site useful, intuitively easy to use and fun, BIT Design can employ powerful testing methods: beginning with testing from paper drafts. Testing consists of (1) observation of how different people fulfill practical tasks on the site, (2) drawing-up recommendations based on observation, (3) testing that the observations improve real usability.

It may seem adequate to rely on your own site comprehension. However, when you have seen site several times, worked with it, you already know where certain buttons are located (in other words, have learned to use this site), your comfort with it does not necessarily translate into comfortable experiences for brand new visitors. New visitors have no such experience. They don't have time to learn. They want to find the information quickly and easily. Every second they spend unable to do that exponentially increases the chances they will back button away and be lost to your site forever.

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Do you know that...

«30 second» rule. If a visitor have not found something of his interest on the web page during 30 seconds, he is most likely (in 8 cases of 10) going to leave the site during next 1-2 minutes and never be back again.

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