Universal Website Usability Rules
10 Usability Rules You Need to Follow
Present Information and Media in a Recognizable Manner
Provide Text Alternatives – Any images, videos, or non-text based media presented to the user must have a text alternative or accompanying text.
Make Content Adaptable – Today information is spread across a wide spectrum including computers, mobile devices, and so forth. Make sure your content is adaptable to all of these spectrums without losing information or composition.
Make Content Distinguishable – Your content should be recognizable to users and provided in a way that makes it easier for them to see and hear. The best way to accomplish this is by using color (more importantly contrast), size, and other stylizing elements. For any audio, video, or active media make sure to provide controls to start and stop the media.
Present an Operational Interface and Navigation
Use Keyboard Shortcuts – Many users prefer not to use a mouse, in which case they browse the web using their keyboard. Allow your website to fully function from a keyboard and provide shortcuts where possible.
Give Users Time – If you are using any videos or animations on your website that contain text or comprehensible parts give users enough time to read or take in these elements. Moving too fast will frustrate users and in retaliation they will leave your website.
Do Not Use Annoying Media – Anything that blinks, flashes, or may produce anxiety will frustrate users. General rule, anything that blinks or flashes more than 3 times a second can be considered annoying.
Provide Multiple Ways to Navigate – Give users complete control of your website by allowing them to navigate located information and direct where they are at all times. To do so provide users with internal links, titles and headings, breadcrumb navigation, search features, and other navigation components.
Present Information and Media in an Understandable Manner
Use Readable Text – Make your text readable and understandable by using correct grammar and pronunciation. Present your content in a manner that would be understandable to a third grader.
Be Predictable – The layout and design of your website should be consistent throughout and the way information is presented should be predictable by users. The easier it is to access information the better.
Provide Assistance – Help users stay away from any potential errors and fix any mistakes that they may have made. Do so by providing tool tips, automatic spell checking, and providing descriptive error messages when feasible.