Website Analysis: Usability, Accessibility and Content Presentation

Published: October 27, 2018

Here we offer a more detailed overview of the website usability, accessibility, and content presentation. We’ll make a more in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of the Facebook and HubSpot websites, and look them through the usability, accessibility and content presentation aspects. This is not just a simple explanation, as we incorporate some complex mathematics and also look at human psychology and how it is influenced by these aspects.

Part 1: Usability

The most important aspect when designing a website of any type is that it will be used by many real people and not just the designer. This means that the design of the website needs to be user-centered and be as simple to use as possible.

  • The website needs to easily provide the information visitors are after
  • The ease of use is essential for visitor satisfaction

These two aspects are known as website usability. The manner of which a website is usable is integral to the user’s trust in the website, which translates to the trust in the brand. A particular user’s trust is increased when the user is using a system that is designed to be user-friendly, also the user is more likely to increase its loyalty towards this particular website.

On the other part of the spectrum, bad usability usually leads to mistrust. In a study conducted in 2015, it was concluded that the users are more likely to distrust a website that has a complex layout and a lot of pop-ups, meaning a more graphical and structural design instead of a clean design. It became obvious that people are bound to trust a site more if it was recommended by a friend.

The largest social network, Facebook has the perfect website design that is user-centered. All the tasks a user is after on Facebook are fast and easily accessible. In the initial moment of accessing the site, you have an insight into the post status updates, the notifications and messages areas and even check the friend’s updates. All this in only five seconds from entering Facebook.

Facebook 5 seconds test

(Figure 1)

The same goes for HubSpot. The initial visit to the site provides answers to the most important questions any visitor would ask: What is HubSpot? How to sign up? How to see what else is offered? Again, all this in only five seconds of entering HubSpot.

HubSpot 5 seconds test

(Figure 2)

Part 2: Accessibility

The best and most effective website designs are those that provide ease of use for every user, no matter how novice the user is or even if the user has some sort of disability. It is not true that good design should be sacrificed at the expense of its accessibility. It is advisable that any website designer should stay away from the opinion that good design is more important than accessibility, as it has been shown for the opposite to be true. A good website design should use clear language, obvious CTA, other buttons and links, and alternative attributes.

The Facebook website is very accessible in every view of the word. For more info on Facebook’s accessibility, you can click here. The sharing of statuses, posting updates, seeing other’s updates and a lot more is very easily done, all through the accessibility tools provided by Facebook’s user-friendly design.

The HubSpot website offers similar accessibility. The navigation is simple and very user-friendly, and any visitor can click on a button, listen to text and headings, and use keyboard shortcuts.

Part 3: Content Presentation

The way content is presented has an essential role in the frequency of use. Even though the website is rich in content, or has a lot of buttons or links, not everything is of the same importance. That is where visual hierarchy comes in. This can be content-based or size-based.

  • Content-based hierarchy pertains to the placement of the most important content in the areas that get the most attention from the users. This can be seen as an F-shaped pattern of reading (see Fig. 3).

Content Presentation

(Figure 3)

  • The size-based hierarchy pertains to the size of the most important elements, and these should be the largest. According to Fit’s law, there is a relation between the size of an element and its user-friendliness.

In terms of content presentation, the most effective content presentation is a mix between these two factors, and it is closely related to brand trust. People are more likely to trust a brand that has a tastefully put together, user-friendly content display than a brand that has a crowded, garish content presentation.

The Facebook design is a mix between a good content-based and size-based approach. The center of the page is for the friend’s updates, which take up most of the page, with an appropriately sized status posting box. Also, the notification area on the top right of the screen is on a prominent place that gets a lot of eye attention.

The HubSpot design is similar, with an approach mixing these two factors. The tagline, description and sign-up button have an F-shaped reading pattern placement, and are always above the fold, with a larger size, gaining more attention.

Finishing thoughts

Above we have made an overview of the designs used in Facebook and HubSpot in order to better understand their design and their implementation of the usability, accessibility and content presentation. The ultimate result from these is an improved user experience (UX) and increased trust between the brand and the end user.

These two aspects are essential for a better overall website experience and ultimate satisfaction of the user. This means that any website designer who is looking to upgrade themselves should consider them and implement them as integral features of their work.

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