Boatline Dealer’s Blog

Back to Basics: Impact of Usability in Website Design

New smartphones. New website widgets. New privacy policies. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what’s new in technology and in marketing that we forget the fundamentals that effectively put our inventory in front of potential buyers. Sometimes we have to go Back to the Basics!
Welcome to Part 3 of our Boatline Back to Basics blog series. As leading providers of innovative solutions that connect buyers and sellers in the marine industry, we’re committed to using this blog series to help dealers reach more customers.

If you want to learn more about best practices for inventory photos, check out Part 1 of our series. More interested in keeping your listings updated and accurate? Then check out Part 2 of our series! Today we’re talking about the importance of usability when it comes to website design.

What is Usability?

We found a great definition provided by the University of South Florida, which stated:
The usability of a website tells us how effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily its visitors or users can see, or examine by other means, the website. That includes everything a user would typically experience when they visit the website including any navigation bars, menus, content, images, videos, hyperlinks, buttons, forms, games, etc.

In other words, a website should be simple to use and straightforward so the visitor has a seamless experience without confusion. So what are some key elements that contribute to the usability of a website being on par?

Simplicity

Neil Patel does a great job of breaking down the importance of simplicity. If you think about it, a simple and sleek website design is timeless. If you’re incorporating a lot of the latest trends, your website could quickly become outdated. Additionally, content is easier to scan when you have a simple design with trimmed down content. It’s no secret that our attention spans are shortening, so having a design that makes it easy for visitors to scan will create a better experience for the visitor. This also makes it more accessible for those with potential disabilities. As the internet community gets larger and larger, so does the pool of people with different needs. Every website should include features that make it accessible to as many people as possible.

Clarity

This goes hand in hand with simplicity. The website and particularly the content needs to be clear. There shouldn’t be a ton of jargon talking around what your dealership offers, but rather should get straight to the point. Cater the content to your audience. Will they know all the technical terms you use on a daily basis, or will they need things reframed a bit? If there’s too much going on, whether it be with your content or specifically the website design, then it’ll be a distraction for your visitors, leaving them to have to dig deeper.

Guidance

Come up with several paths that visitors could go through when visiting your website. Don’t make them guess how to navigate. Organize your website in a way that makes sense to your typical customer’s path to purchase. Utilize call to actions to push visitors to the pages you deem a priority and make sure your menu bar is set up in an easy to understand way. Approach it as if you’re leading the prospect through your sales process, but just in your virtual dealership instead of your physical one.

Responsiveness

You’ve probably heard us talk a lot about this, but it’s imperative that you have a website that will adjust to any device that’s commonly used nowadays. With more and more people on the go that are using their mobile phones as a source for searching the internet, if you’re not accommodating them, you could be missing out on some serious sales. Don’t create more work for your potential customer to navigate around your website and find the information he or she needs.

Usability is a key component in ensuring your visitor stays on your website and helps determine his/her next steps. In fact, according to NN Group, “You have 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. After this time (and oftentimes before), they’ll leave.”

About Boatline

Boatline is a next generation marketplace powered by Trader Interactive, an industry leader in online advertising for recreational and commercial industry dealers. Marine Dealers have access to premier tools for advertising their locations and inventory, researching prices and scarcity, as well as top-of-the-line lead generation tools. Our mission is to bring buyers and sellers together through our advanced insights, next generation platform, and intuitive search capabilities. We want to bring a better digital buying and selling experience to the marine industry!

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