Improving your site usability will yield endless benefits to both you and the users of your site—whether they are clients, prospects, or even your own employees. Users will rarely applaud you for having good usability. Your reward for designing a site that users love comes in a different form. Depending on the nature of your site, the benefits you see will vary.
User Satisfaction – Your users want to be delighted with their experience on your site no matter what they are trying to accomplish. Whether your site sells party streamers or cemetery plots, facilitating a successful visit to your site will improve every user’s perception of your site and your brand. Every facet of usability should support this goal.
Improved Brand Loyalty – Satisfied customers will likely be repeat customers. Really satisfied customers will evangelize for your brand and drive referral business to you and your site.
Decreased Bounce Rate – By providing users with the right information, in the right place, at the right time, more users will stay on your site until they’ve completed the task they set out to accomplish.
Increased Sales / Conversions / Leads, etc. – By helping users find what they want quickly and facilitating an informative, yet efficient process, your conversions will increase—either directly or indirectly increasing revenue.
Decreased Cart Abandonment – Following standard usability conventions and listening to the needs of your users will minimize the frequency of shopping cart abandonment.
Reduced Costs – If your design is easily learned, efficient, memorable, and not prone to system or user error, less time and expense will be required to support its users. A busy technical support staff and/or the need for lengthy (and expensive) tutorials are telltale signs of a system that is in need of a usability overhaul.
On the flip side, sites with poor usability will be openly ridiculed both offline and online by disgruntled users–but more importantly, they will be visited less and perform below their potential.