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Web usability is the ease of use of a website. Some broad goals of usability are the presentation of information and choices in a clear and concise way, a lack of ambiguity and the placement of important items in appropriate areas. Another important element of web usability is ensuring that the content works on various devices and browsers. Another concern for usability is ensuring that the website is appropriate for all ages and genders.
The idea of Usability is centered on the concept of making the interface of the website more users friendly. Some of the common aspects of Usability are - simplicity, consistency, familiarity, clarity, credibility, relevancy and accessibility. The focus is to make users feel at ease and remove all the bottlenecks from the conversion path so that users don't have to deal with any inconvenience while browsing or purchasing a product online.
As more results of usability research become available, this leads to the development of methodologies for enhancing web usability. There are a number of usability testing tools available in the market.
In the context of e-commerce websites, the meaning of web-usability is narrowed down to efficiency: triggering sales and/or performing other transactions valuable to the business.
Web usability received renewed attention as many early e-commerce websites started failing in 2000. Whereas fancy graphical design had been regarded as indispensable for a successful e-business application during the emergence of internet in the 1990s, web-usability protagonists said quite the reverse was true. They advocated the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid), which had proven to be effective in focusing end-user attention.
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