Monday, 8 November 2010

Upgrading a great website

Last year I was at the award ceremony of the Usability Awards 2010. For the website there was a honorable mention. During this ceremony I learned some things to improve the website.

This is what I have done:

  1. Changed the font from serif to sans-serif.
    This change has some impact. The top menu was too large now, so 
  2. I had to remove a menu item in the top menu.
    Luckily did this change improve the readability. Due to this change I was able to
  3. Display a darker background.
    Both the old and the new backgroumd was based on a picture of grass. With the new background that is more clear.
    In the bottom menu was the call for action: "Make a reservation now"
  4. I have replaced the call for action in the bottom menu into: "Check availability".
    This is a more inviting call for action. Of course the goal of the website is that people makes reservations, so 
  5. I made clear call to action buttons for "Make a reservation".
    For the call to action buttons I used the same grass background as for the top and bottom menu. It looks really nice.
  6. The text of the bottom menu is modified a little due to the fact there is another call to action now.
  7. At the page "reviews" and "back at home" I have a clear call to action to write a review.
  8. At the contact page there are even three call to action buttons now.
    "Make a reservation", "Write a review" and "Mail".
  9. Very important is of course the call to action button "Make a reservation" at the page "Availability".
  10. At the page "Availability" I have changed the text a little. I includes now the phrase "now" to create an urgency to make a reservation.
  11. The HTML code is upgraded form XHTML 1.0 to HTML 5 for all pages.
    The most important feature of HTML 5 is that you are now able to use
  12. A placeholder for all "text" fields.
  13. The appropiate fields are changed from "text" to "email", "url", "search".
  14. Some fields are marked as required now.
I believe that these small changes improve the usability of the website.

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