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WEBSITE USABILITY, USER EXPERIENCE (UX) & ACCESSIBILITY

We'll make your website accessible and easy for people to use, whilst giving your visitors an engaging, enjoyable experience.

When we design websites, usability is always our top priority, above all else. But we're alarmed at how many websites we still see where this is not the case - broken, unusable websites.

The web is now a full-blown, increasingly complex, mainstream media. Everyday, billions of 'ordinary' people access the web on all kinds of web-enabled devices. Websites, regardless of their complexity, need to be easy to use for even the most technophobic and non-savvy of visitors. All this makes website usability, UX and accessibility more important than ever.

Usability

As the name suggests 'usability' is the study of how easy (or not), something is to use. Most of the time we take usability for granted - when things work well, we don't notice it. It is only when things don't work the way we expect - when they frustrate and annoy us - that we notice ... and don't we notice!

Websites are no different; they also need to work in the way people expect. But as websites become larger and have the capacity to do more, this becomes more difficult to achieve.

User Experience (UX)

Having a website that is usable is extremely important, but you really need to go beyond that. Not only should your website be easy to use, it should be a pleasure to use. When people visit your website you want them to come away feeling positive about your organisation. You need to consider the 'user experience'.

It continues to surprise us how many websites have failed to take into account the fundamental practices set-out in these two essential areas.

Frieze Design has been working with Web user 'interactions' and web interfaces for close to a decade. We know what works and what doesn't. We've seen how habits, patterns and conventions have evolved, and how these can vary with different site visitor groups. Surprisingly perhaps, we find the study of usability and user experience really fascinating. After all, understanding how people use the web makes our job easier, and ultimately leads us to create websites people enjoy using.

Accessibility

Again, as the name suggests 'accessibility' is about making your website as accessible to as many people as possible. But this is of particular importance to those with disability that use computer based assisted technologies.

Screen reader software for example, allows the visually impaired to have a website read-out to them. Other assistive technologies include making it easy for people to navigate a website using only their keyboard. In order for these technologies to work correctly though, a website needs to be developed in such a way as to include functional routines that only assisted technologies uniquely require.

We have developed websites that adhere to the highest level of accessibility - as this site you're looking at right now does. So if you need help with a website that needs to be fully accessible, just drop us a line.

Broken Website - A Common Case Example

We've all seen those sites with 'drop-down menus' right? You know the one's where you 'hover' your mouse cursor over the main menu links at the top of the page, and further drop-down links are revealed?

So what happens if you don't have a 'cursor' or a mouse - like the millions of touch-based devices we all use? Your smartphone, your tablet doesn't offer a 'hover' state, they don't use cursors!

What happens is these sites don't work for anyone using a touch enabled device. None of the links to pages on the drop-down menus can be viewed. A broken, unusable website.

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