Sssh… the secret bonuses
Usability is all about people and their behaviour online. Make
a site work well for most users… and you've taken the first steps
to making an accessible site (ie a site that caters for disabled
and impaired users), and - those pesky search engines. Yes, they're
not human, but the best of them - Google - invests millions of dollars
on developing algorithms to return the most relevant results and
the best sites for each search; very user-centred.
The Google algorithms look at who takes the links from their search
results pages, how long they spend on that site, and how often users
return to measure site popularity, and weight site rankings in results
pages accordingly. Sites with good usability and content are off
to a head start.
While we're not for a moment suggesting that just incorporating
good usability will get your site to the top of the rankings in
the search engines, or ensure you never fall foul of the growing
Accessibility legislation - these areas are interrelated, and can
be built in at the outset of an integrated and thoughtful design
process to make your site outperform the competition in every aspect.