Usability has nothing to do with how beautiful a website looks; rather, it has to do with how easy it is for a user to navigate. Ultimately, users are the reason we design websites. They’re the ones that go onto websites and click through them. It is important to optimize web pages to take into account the common practices every day website visitors take. This can ultimately lead to increases in revenue or vice versa for the owners of the visited website.
Usability testing is a way to see how easy to use something is by testing it with real users. Users are asked to complete tasks, typically while they are being observed by a researcher, to see where they encounter problems and experience confusion. In MAT 235, we performed real usability tests as an in class assignment. It was interesting to see how different each user was when going through the exact same website.
According to The Webby Awards, the Virgin America website had one of the best user experiences in 2016. I would have to agree with them. The website has a minimal design and is extremely easy to use. It has features that draw the user in and allow them to easily navigate to their desired destination on the web page.