Digging deep into web usability, Part II
Last time, we talked about color schemes and logos. Today, we discuss a few usability guidelines, and more specifically, the importance of keeping the number of page levels on a website within a practical threshold.
The main navigation text is too small, crammed together, and there is insufficient contrast between the light purple and dark purple of the navigation drop-downs. Increasing size and contrast will aid navigation for all visitors. And looking further at the navigation, there appears to be a lot of pages. In fact, there appears to be at least 160 pages, not including the spa or (non-functioning) boutique. My first impression is that it’s too much content but the issue isn’t just too much. The visitor is forced to drill down repeatedly to get information, which is inconvenient. For example, under About Us, I see a link for Promotions Offers. I select it but the information on the page doesn’t contain promotions. It tells me that they have many but now I need to select each offer from the navigation on the left. Worst of all, if I select Seasonal Promotions from the navigation, I’m taken to a page of 10 from which I need to click deeper to read the actual promotion. By the time I’m on this page, I’m four levels deep in the site and the page has maybe 60 words at most. There’s no reason a site of this size needs to be this deep. Visitors don’t want to drill down to read a set of flash cards. People prefer being able to compare information on the same page when practical.
To read more, please see the next post on the relationship between navigation and web usability.