Most people acknowledge that usability is a critical factor in the success of a page, application or entire web site. Poor usability will drive away users and limit the results you can achieve.
However, how can you best determine where to start with your usability efforts? Here is an easy way to triage your opportunities and identify those with the best chance for high impact.
Identify which processes or transactions on your site are repeated the most frequently and ideally result in the greatest value for the web site publisher.
You want high frequency so that you are targeting the most (or most active) users of your site.
You want a cumulatively high value of all those actions in order to focus on those that create the most value for your organization.
A process that happens a million times a month and is worth, on average, 10 cents to the publisher is cumulatively worth $100,000. A minor usability improvement to that process which adds a penny or two to the average value has a big impact. You get the idea.
The best usability improvements are not necessarily the most brilliant or unique; they are those that generate the most value. A high value usability improvement could be a simple as adjusting a confusing label.
What are the highest volume and highest cumulative value processes on your site? Focus on making incremental usability improvements there in order to be a usability superstar.