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Website Usability

"Users visit your website for its content. Everything else is just the backdrop."  Jakob Nielsen

At Sigmer we believe in empowering the user. When we design a user interface, whether it is for an application, Intranet or Internet site, we consider all the design aims and try to make the user's experience a rewarding and intuitive one. We give usability the consideration it deserves from the outset, because good usability is key to the long-term success of the final application.

Web usability, web interface design and website usability testing are about looking at everything from the user's perspective. Find out how our expertise in web usability can help your organisation; call John Archibald or Niall McCrae on 01273 669 710, or e-mail

Website usability

Our interface design process normally commences with a usability study - a structured process aimed at gathering the usability requirements which will inform the design process. The study will normally involve the following 3 activities and will use formal usability study templates and documents:

Developing detailed user scenarios


Development of an interface prototype


Usability testing

The 3 stages may be repeated until user testing shows that usability has been optimised. The project can then proceed to the next stage. Throughout the project-lifecycle, regularly referring back to the original user scenarios, and repeated user testing, keeps all those involved focused on the most important person; the user of the website or application.

Developing detailed user scenarios

Identifying who your users are and profiling them to understand how they think and what information they want is the starting point for any usability testing. This is most effectively achieved through the development of a series of detailed user scenarios which use profile documents and templates and result in a user profile report - see example Website Development User Profile Report [Adobe PDF, 236 Kb].

Development of an interface prototype

The information provided by the user scenarios will determine the next stage of planning which is to define the information architecture and navigation of the website or application. A mock-up of the site or application is produced on paper or on-screen, which is then subjected to review by both the client and the Sigmer design team.

Usability testing

Users are asked to perform tasks and the ease with which these tasks are performed provides both qualitative and quantitative information for the interface designer. Usability is influenced by five main factors and assessing these through usability testing is part of the quality process;

  1. Ease of learning
  2. Efficiency
  3. Memorability
  4. Satisfaction
  5. Errors

Estimating Return on Investment

It is often difficult to obtain return on investment data for usability improvements because the metrics for success - increased and more efficient use and higher user satisfaction - have values that are unique to every business. However, according to Usability Research by Jakob Nielsen, it has been estimated that spending approximately 10% of a project’s budget on usability activities can double usability, and that following a usability redesign, websites can increase their desired metrics by 135% on average.

If you would like to discuss your website usability requirements, please e-mail, or contact us.

photo of John Archibald This page is managed by John Archibald. If you would like to talk with John please email
or call 01273 669 700.

T: 0207 183 5389  E

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