Introduction  Web Usability can be defined as a way of measuring theconsistency and simplicity of the website’s interface. The usability of awebsite is how convenient it is from the design to the user experience.

Themain aim of this project is to improve the website in order to create apositive user experience. The user experience begins right when the user landson the website to when they log off. This is achieved by being able toestablish a connection with the user with excellent user interaction andengaging website content.

 A decent level of usability is determined by the user’sability to utilize the website without having to think or spend more than 5seconds trying to figure out the next steps of the process. This means that theuser is fully guided and the site has clear instructions on what to do next.  E-commerce websites are mostly the ones to require an almostperfect user interaction. This affects aspects like website structure, layout,performance and navigation. The shopping cart experience is also a fundamentalaspect that a user will experience. The user searches for a product, selectproduct options and quantity, checkout and complete the payment process. We cananalyse the steps that the user has to take to complete the purchase anddetermine the simplicity of the process.

If these web aspects are lesscomplicated and more straightforward, the user’s experience is more likely tobe positive.  Usability tools- Bootswatchand HotJar. The aim for using Bootswatch for the project was to enhancethe appearance and usability in order to improve the website navigation,website layout and the front end of the website. Hotjar is the usability toolused to access the user’s opinion on the website by responding to questions oneach page in order to utilise the feedback to improve the website. Ø Websitenavigation  Navigation is a critical component of website usability.This determines how easy a user can interact with the website. Navigation isbut not limited to how the user can find information, pages and products on thewebsite, but it is also a way to assist users on where they currently are onthe website.

 Designing a website with user interaction in mind willensure a satisfying user experience. This begins with the three ways a user caninteract or navigate through the website:  ·     Links·     buttons·     forms Buttons require the same techniques as the links. Dependingon the user’s internet connectivity, there might be a pause while the pagerefreshes when a button is clicked, as a result, it is essential to have thebutton respond in a way that enables the user to know that the particularbutton was clicked successfully. It is also essential to allow the user tonotice clickable elements on the website by differentiating them from the restof the content on the site. User friendly buttons include:·     button text·     button background colour ·     hover text colour·     hover background colour ·     button icon  Hotjar heatmap  This tool makes it possible to analyse how users utilise thewebsite. The tool generates heatmaps for targeted pages of the website. Whenevera user visits the website, the HTML page the user loads and screenshots aresaved and are later used to produce a heatmap report.

The heatmap below is areport containing recordings of usage behaviour on my ‘Posts’ page. This typeof report enables me to analyse where users are clicking the most and makes itpossible to discover any issues on the page that needs to be resolved.     Changes made The usability tool uncovered issues with the links on my ‘Posts’page.

The tool indicated that users were clicking blank places that where not clickable.This was because the text on the page was not well defined. Links were includedin the text and there were not distinct. Bootswatch was used to differentiate andcustomise the links.  Links can be used to access other websites, pages or files.Links embedded on to a website automatically come with an underline unless thestyle is changed. However, this might not look very appealing especially ifthere are a lot of links on a web page.

A technique used was to hide theunderline until the user hovers over that particular link. The problem withthis is that the user might miss the opportunity to click that link because itis difficult to differentiate the plain words and the links if they all appearthe same unless the user hovers on it. Colouring the links might not fullysolve the issue considering the fact that some users may not see colour. Theusability tool allowed me to consider a great technique which was to differentiatethe links from the text and also the unvisited links from the visited links.This improves the usability and enables the user to understand where theycurrently are on the website.   Forms are other components that have the potential to positivelyor negatively impact the user based on their design and simplicity. The defaultform design is basic and is supported in most web browsers.

Making changes tothe visual appearance of the form is necessary only if it does not complicateits usability. The form fields, checkboxes, dropdown selections and submissionbuttons should behave in a way that is easily accessible and makes the userinteraction as clear as possible. It should also be clear which fields aremandatory and the type of information required.

For example, most user’s getfrustrated after filling out a form only to find out an error that indicatesthe password they entered needs certain special characters or the format of thedate they inserted is invalid.  Ø Websitelayout  Website usability is not only about the tools ofinteraction, buttons, links and forms, it is also about how simple andstraightforward the overall design of the website is. If a user visits awebsite and does not find the information they are looking for in less than 8seconds, they are more likely to exit the site and go elsewhere.

Great designcaters to the user’s time and aids in providing relevant information onrelevant pages. The home page of a website is usually the landing page, thisgives the introduction to the site and should always enable the user to knowwhat the site is all about at first glance preferably without having to scroll. Although it is good practice to add content that makes thewebsite look batter, some contents might distract the user from the the mostimportant tasks that exists on the site.

Building websites from a user’s pointof view is beneficial for it enables the developer to think through everycomponent added to the site and consider if it is really necessary or not. Thisalso gives the developer the ability to de-emphasize some contents to allow theuser to concentrate on the important elements.  User feedback The best way to improve usability is to collect accuratefeedback from users.

Hotjar was used to collect visual feedback from users thatcomplete submit a quick questioner on the website. This usability tool providesfeedback widget to enable users to give their opinion on the website and ratetheir experience. Below is a screenshot of the feedback widget on my website.     ReferencesØ Themesfor Bootstrap https://bootswatch.com/Accessed Nov 27 2017Ø  https://www.hotjar.com Accessed Dec 05 2017                                       

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