Headings are descriptive and clear

Most people don’t read online, they scan the page. Use headings to set content apart and keep it organized. Headings should be clear and descriptive.

Critical content is above the fold

The “fold” is an imaginary line where the bottom of your screen cuts off a page. Average screen resolution  is 1024×768. According to Chartbeat (analytical provider) 66% of attention on a normal web page is spent above the fold. Other usability researches say that: people used the scrollbar on 76% of the pages, with 22% being scrolled all the way to the bottom regardless of the length of the page.

User attention eventually peters out, and the further down the page users go, the less time they generally spend on each additional information unit. There are psychological consequences to endless scrolling that can hurt the user experience as well. With infinitely long pages, people may feel paralyzed by the sheer volume of content or the number of choices and not click anything. People who need specific types of information expect content to be grouped and layered according to relevance, by pages. Web users don’t mind clicking links (e.g., a link to the next page) if each click is meaningful and leads them closer to the desired goal. The ideal scrolling length is 2 standard desktop screens.

Emphasis (bold, etc.) is used wisely

What is the recommended item to emphasize – the item label or the item value, when you want to draw a user’s attention to a specific piece of information. The answer is: if the user expects to see a specific value, highlight that value, not its label. If the user does not expect a specific value or if several values are shown, highlight the label(s).

Highlight the text on pages sparsely. Otherwise it’s no longer a highlight, but merely a noisy text style which can be confusing to users, max 10% of your content. The less you highlight, the more attention your highlights will receive.

Banner ads and pop-ups

Why not to use pop-ups? According to Oxford-based tests around 50% of internet users will close a pop-up ad before it loads, 60% of those tested said that pop-ups even led to mistrust for both the brand being advertised and the host site where the pop-up appeared. That means that pop-up is an absolute “do not” for ecommerce shop.

There are 5 types of internal ads and banner graphics to cause particularly severe usability and user experience issues:

  • ads placed above the product list
  • ads placed within the product list
  • text ads below the product list
  • overlay dialog windows (“lightboxes”) on page load
  • ads placed in the prime content location

Generally ads give your web shop a poor first impressions and destruct shoppers from achieving their goals on your website. Unless it’s a new product in your warehouse, discount offer or free shipping for your customers we do not suggest placing any advertisement.

URLs are meaningful and user-friendly

Meaningful keyword-based URLs are good for both visitors and search engines. In order to perform effective URL optimization you need to approach it as a copywriter. Please do not perform any changes without consulting a specialist in this area.

The following rules may apply:

  • choose a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell
  • be descriptive and as short as possible without words such as a, for, the
  • have important keywords placed at the beginning of the URL
  • do not contain capital letters
  • to avoid duplicate pages use canonical urls

Use hyphens to separate words because not all of the search engines interpret separators accurately like “_”, “+”, or “%20” so use the hyphen “-” character to separate words in a URL.

HTML page titles are explanatory

Page titles are widely used by SEO specialist to attract more visitors to the website. But often they forget that page titles are created for users not only for search engine crawlers, that this is the first thing the website visitor see. If it looks spammy, have grammatical errors, confusing or non-descriptive – even if your website is ranked well in search engine you loose a big number of potential customers as they skip your website in search results.

If we haven’t covered in this article the issue you are conserned with, please feel free to contact us with any question regarding usability and/or ecommerce website development and we would be glad to help you.