Usability is the way a product functions or interacts with an end user. It’s a crucial part of the app design process and it should always be focused on. But there are guidelines that can make your interface more intuitive, simpler, and easier to use for your end users.
These 10 rules from Websitesetuper that can help you make your app more user-friendly and convenient to use.
1. Tell users what’s expected of them (preconditions)
Make sure people clearly understand what they’re supposed to do in order to use your product. For example, if there are some preconditions for your service (users need to create an account before they can use it) then describe them in advance on the registration page or provide the user with a clear link that explains how it works. Don’t make your customers spend time trying to figure it out themselves. The same applies for uploading files, filling out forms, etc. If you have to explain what the terms mean, it’s a good idea to also provide some help text on the web page or in the app.
2. Tell people what they can do (postconditions)
Tanis Hartman and Aaron Irizarry found that providing clear and explicit postconditions was important for users to understand how their actions would affect the system or application. Postconditions will also help users avoid errors and improve their overall experience with your product. For example, if it’s possible for your service to fail when uploading files, then you should tell them how to upload files so they know whether they’re doing something wrong or not.
3. Make sure that users can predict what your product or service will do (intended outcomes)
This rule also involves making the user’s actions predictable. When you design something, you should give people a clear idea about how it works, the intended outcomes of doing certain things, and make sure that customers can predict what your app or website will do. For example, if your service allows users to donate money by uploading certain pictures which are then used for advertising purposes (like banner ads), be sure to warn them about this in advance because not all users will want that.
4. Tell users what will happen after they click on something
People also need to understand what will happen when they click on a certain button. For example, if the user clicks on a button that says “Upload” then it should be clear that something is going to be uploaded. In this case, the button should be red and enlarged to make it even more obvious. It’s also very important for buttons not to have similar names because if the user accidentally clicks on the wrong one, they’ll get frustrated and confused about what happened. If a button has a clear name and description (like “Download” or “Submit”), it will provide a good user experience .
5. Make sure that users know what they can do with your product (use cases)
If you’re making an online store, then you should describe each step required for the customers to complete an order and make sure that they know what they need to do, and what can happen. For example, if the user needs to select a product and then fill out a form with shipping info, make it clear how they should do this, and make sure they understand the basics before anything else. If something is unclear, offer additional help text or simply ask users if they need any help.
6. Show users what’s happening behind the scenes
For example, if the system needs to perform some server-side operations, then users should be informed about it. Show them an informational message about how your app or website is working and why it takes a certain amount of time for a certain action to complete.
7. Make sure that people see what’s going on in your app or website
You should make sure that users don’t have any questions about what’s going on in the app or service because, if they’re left wondering, they might think that something is wrong with the product. If something takes a while to load, make sure they see a progress bar or something like that.
8. Make sure that users know where they are (browsing context)
Everything that happens in an application should be easy to understand and provide all the necessary details. If your application has different levels of browsing context (different pages, tabs, etc.), then make sure users know in advance what part of the app they will be when they click on one of these links and how it will affect the data in the system. For example, if you have several tabs in your website and one user accidentally clicks on another tab, this page should load slowly if it exists in another server location.
9. Make sure that users know what they’re supposed to do (task flow)
This is also about making the user’s experience understandable and simple. If they require a certain task to be performed, then it should be clear for people what they need to do and where they need to go in order to complete this task.
10. Make sure users can complete their tasks (flow)
People also need to understand the overall flow of an app or website and how it’s organized so that everything is clearly described and made easy for them while navigating through different screens or pages, etc.
These 10 rules are some of the most significant usability guidelines that you should ensure your app is user-friendly and pleasant for end users.