In continuity of our series of “Inexpensive Usability”, in this version, we have added some more scenarios that could enable a web page to be more user friendly without additional effort on the development side.

Scenario 5 – Too Many Text Fields: When there are many form fields to fill, and if whether the fields are mandatory or not is not mentioned then clearly it could discourage the users to fill the data and user may not opt for form filling process.

Our inexpensive approach

  • For Form Text Fields – Add a water mark text to let users know that a field is optional. E.g. Address fields could consist of Address 1, Address 2, Landmark, City, State, Zip Code, and Country etc. Here we can have field “Address 2” and “Landmark” with watermark text as “Optional” would let user know that it can be left blank.
  • For Dropdown list box – The first item “Select” can be changed to “Select – Optional”. This will clearly inform users that it is not a mandatory field and can be skipped. E.g. if Country is to be selected from a dropdown list box then it will have the default selected as “County – Optional”.
  • For Radio buttons / checkboxes – We can have text mentioning it as non-mandatory “Optional”.
  • Additionally – we can also highlight all the mandatory fields with a different border colour. With a note that field with red border are mandatory.

Scenario 6 – Reduce Menu Clicks: While accessing the menus, users will have to first click on the main menu to view the sub-menu and then the second click will be on the sub-menu to select an item.

Our inexpensive approach

  • Instead of clicking the main menu, when user hover of the main menu then it should open the sub-menu automatically. This will reduce the first click mentioned above.
  • When user click on the main menu instead of any of the sub-menus then simply open the page associated with the first sub-menu item by default.

Scenario 7 – Quick Scroll Top : When the web pages has more content, users has to scroll down to view the content but in case the menu options or links to other pages are not displayed at the bottom of the page then user will have again scroll at the top to view and access the menus/links.

Our inexpensive approach – Just add a “go to top” button or an upward direction “arrow” image at the bottom of the web page near the vertical scroll bar.

We have applied our learning and added in our standard user interface checklist that we refer during the development of every screen as a part of our development process. Overall not only did it help to increase the users experience but it saved development efforts, it resulted in the reduction of support calls. Most importantly, such simple know-how and process increased users experience without impacting the development cost thus making usability inexpensive.

You may share your experience and feedback. If you would like to know our usable approach for problems faced by you or want to suggest about what should we cover in the next post then please write to us at