Website Usability Rules 101

By Advisor Websites on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Spring break is over and school’s back in session! With many youngsters hitting the books, you as a financial advisor may think, “hey, going back to school doesn’t apply to me anymore! I got a website to take care of now.”  Before you throw the thought of some good ol’ education out the window, I’ll like to welcome you to a brief tutoring session about website usability with Professor Marbles here. Like many students returning to school after a hiatus, it’s always refreshing to learn new material to maintain those good grades. In the case of maintaining your website’s design and functionality on the other hand, Professor Marbles and I will offer some valuable rules on website usability today. So get your notebooks and pencils ready class!

The 7±2 (Seven, Plus or Minus Two) Rule
It’s been proven; the human brain recalls and processes information more effectively in smaller chunks. As a matter of fact, people can retain approximately 5 to 9 things (a little math for you there) in their short term memory in only one instance. This fact lies cause to the argument that navigation menus on websites should strive to be no more than 7 items long. It’s also less cluttering when menu bars are kept short and sweet.

80/20 Rule
This rule is derived from the Pareto Principle (aka. the Law of the Vital Few) which states that 80% of effects originate from 20% of its causes. Now what do I really mean here? Think of it this way; 80% of sales that you have acquired come from 20% of your clients. Although this may be a broad and general rule, it can most definitely be applied to website usability as well. To witness an increase in website success, simply identify the 20% of clients, services or activities that account for 80% of your profit and then maximize your emphasis on these areas.  For instance, if majority of your traffic is coming from your blog, consider adding more fresh and exciting content such as from AW’s vestorly integration or from the periodical content library.

Fitt’s Rule
In 1954, Paul Fitts created a law stating that human movement towards a target area is dependent on the distance to that target and the size of it. Essentially, targets that are smaller and further away are more time consuming to acquire. In relation to website usability, this rule reinforces the benefits of increased accessibility and improved click rates. For example, if a financial advisor wishes for visitors to click on his call to action button, he will place it near the top of the webpage and/or the sidebar versus in the footer which can impede on high clicking rates

Fiona is a Customer Success Coordinator at Advisor Websites™ , a global leader in website software for the financial industry. Advisor Websites’ award-winning web-based platform is used by financial professionals to create and manage compliant and user-friendly websites
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