How to Build an Effective Website ?

by nomi
Visitors glance at a page, scan the text, and click on the first hot link that is similar to what they are looking for, or what they find interesting. Huge part of the page they don't even look at. They are searching for something to click on, if it is not found they go back and look again. Possibly somewhere else.
What does a user want?
* They don't want to think or search. They want easy navigation, clear and quality content, easy-to-understand design
* You only have 2-5 seconds to grab attention. You can't afford to waste time on intros for example..
* Design is a supporting function: making content easier to read, more interesting, highlighting the focus point etc. Users look for high quality content and design should help them find it.
* Users don't look for the optimum solution; they want the first good-enough solution. Give them a button to click on! And make it visible. (3 buttons are the optimum)
* Visitors want to have control and do like the old ways: they don't want to think about complex navigation bars etc.
* According to the 7±2 principle people can remember 5 to 9 things at a time. Which means that your menu or headlines should not be longer than that.
* As we said visitors are ,,lazy", they want results fast: they want to get the information they want within maximum of 2 or 3 clicks.
But a website is much more than just an online brochure. It is a marketing tool, generating leads, nutriting them:
* Lead the visitor to the next step in the sales process: give them a hint of your expertise, the greatness of your product. Give them a reason to call you for more information.
* Get the users' contact information: offer something of value on your site in exchange for their contact information. Offer product demo, white papers, webinars, newsletters, mp3, researches, any useful information
* Provide the visitor with an experience, impress them, be personal, interesting, informative, give them a reason to came back regularly.
Use design to navigate the prospect through these steps. Use eye-catching registration forms, hot-links, icons, colourful buttons, bullet points..
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About the Author
After 7 years of corporate marketing, switched sites and now is supervising designs at an agency, namely Nomico Design, making sure, that all designs are functional.