10 Usability Principles to guide you through the Web Design
Look n Feel/Motivate
Design your site to meet specific user needs and goals. Use motivators to draw different user "personae" into specific parts of your site.
Task Analysis/User task flow
Who are your users? What are their tasks and online environment? For a site to be usable, page flow must match workflow.
Navigational Structure/Architecture – it's 80% of usability
Build an efficient navigational structure. Remember – if they can't find it in 3 clicks, they're gone.
Differentiating the controls/Affordance means obvious
Make controls understandable. Avoid confusion between emblems, banners, and buttons.
Why reinvent the wheel? Use ergonomically designed templates for the most common 8-12 pages.
Simultaneously Testing/Usability test along the way
Avoid Graphics, Images/Know user tolerances
Users are impatient. Design for a 2-10 second maximum download. Reuse header graphics so they can load from cache. Avoid excessive scrolling.
Multimedia – be discriminating
Good animation attracts attention to specific information, and then stops. Too much movement distracts, slowing reading and comprehension.
Use a stats package
Monitor traffic through your site. Which pages pique user interest? Which pages make users leave? Adjust your site accordingly.