Here’s a Simple List, but with Some Items You Might Not Have Thought About!
As a marketing manager, business owner, and 20 + year IT manager, I’ve gleaned some interesting tidbits over the years, from many industries, and from many business users and consumers. Here are my “top ten” concepts for web design. Avoid being in the “worst-dressed list,” and by all means, note the terrible websites, to avoid making repeat mistakes (google “examples of bad website design” for more ideas)!
Design for the first eye catch.
Where does the consumer’s eye land first on the site? What photo, words, colors, or movements catch the user’s eye? Study, measure, and position advertisements accordingly!
Sell the big hitters!
Do not waste the company’s time with products or services that do not contribute well to the corporate bottom line. Know what the “most profitable” things are in the business quiver, and sell these.
Avoid the overused: pop-ups, huge “gotta click it to close it” banner ads, and floating ads that follow the user’s mouse position.
Consumers hate them, and so do I!
Pick simple words.
Use the easiest, grammar-school words possible to describe products or services.
It often enrich the purchasing experience, and the right video, properly composed, filmed, edited, and placed, can work wonders for sales.
Even though bandwidth seems unlimited these days, many consumers still live in the dial-up age. Design INITIAL pages to load quickly, to get the message across. If a screen loads too slowly, the user gives up and goes elsewhere.
Pick a URL that is easy to type.
A good example is “facebook.com:” It’s an excellent choice as it describes the company’s name well, but “fb.com” is so much easier to type. If the URL goes longer than ten characters, find a way to shorten it and use “redirecting” from the longer URL to the shorter URL.
Always ensure the website is running.
Scale hardware, software, and databases to handle estimated capacity (this takes expertise and research!). There are many software choices, so pick the best known, most reliable packages (this ensures there will be programmers available!). For hosted solutions, monitor your site to ensure it is available 24X7. Also, ensure there is a binding performance agreement with the hosting company, and pick hosts that have good reputations.
Broken links not only distract, but tend to irritate consumers.
If a link doesn’t work, find the correct one and re-publish the website. If there are programming errors, fix them! (test daily!)
Search engines count.
Spend the money (but watch budget!) to ensure the website is on the first page of hits, and possibly highlighted. If the consumer cannot find the company, the company loses!