Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Website - Design for Success

Have you ever entered a website with high expectations of finding something great only to be completely turned off by background music?

This is one of many mistakes that entrepreneurs make when setting up their websites. Getting someone’s attention, retaining their attention, and getting them to respond in the manner you want can be tricky; however, not so tricky that one cannot master success on the Internet.

The key to creating a successful website is simplicity and ease of navigation. Too much clutter through wordy text, inconsistency in font size and style, and multiple font colors can be very distracting. As you evaluate your own website, review the list below to see if you are adhering to principles of good website design.

1. Aim to capture the attention of your visitor's immediately.

2. Be consistent in your design from page to page.

3. Choose your color scheme wisely. Do you know the message of different colors?

4. Use plain text backgrounds, avoid textures or background designs as each browser will display a website differently.

5. Create contrast between background and font color (white background and black print is the best).

6. Optimize your page so that it loads quickly. A page that takes too long to load will lose visitors.

7. Don't make pages any longer than they need to be. Avoid the need to scroll down to obtain vital information.

8. Don't be afraid of open space. Too much clutter will confuse the message you are trying to share.

9. Create a link to your home page on every page. Do not use "forward" and "back" as you are never certain on what page someone may enter your site.

10. Include contact information on your site. Obtain a post office box if you are concerned about identity theft. Visitors need to know where you are located, especially if you are offering a service. Include a phone number, if at all possible.

11. Don't put a graphic counter on your website. Do you really want your visitors to know the number of visitors you’ve had? Add an analytical software counter that you can view this information through reports. Set objectives so you can determine where you need to place emphasis to obtain a greater market share.

12. Don't clutter your site with banners and advertisements. This will only reduce the uploading speed of your website and cause visitors to move away from your site.

13. Make sure your screen resolution is good in most search engines. Don't forget to look at how your site displays.

14. Verify that all your links work correctly.

15. Check and double check spelling and grammar throughout your site.

16. Never play background music on your site!

17. Avoid overuse of gadgets, page layouts, and a clear message will speak louder to impress your visitors.

18. Make sure that nothing on your website is greater than 3 clicks away from your Home page. A two-click rule to find anything on your site is optimal.

19. Don't indicate that your site is "under-construction"; bring it up when it is ready. An under-construction message does not encourage visitors to come back.

20. Don't use excess BOLD, CAPITAL, or Italic fonts and never underline text, this will only confuse your readers. (Underline typically denotes a link is available.)

21. If you have links, make sure they are visible. A common approach to indicate that a link exists is to use "Blue Underlined" text.

22. Avoid using the text "click to enter" your website, this adds an unnecessary step which wastes your visitors time. The only time this should be used is when you expect your visitors to have a userid and a password to enter.

23. Get others who use the Internet frequently to critique your site and give you some ideas on how to make improvements.

24. Pay attention to the "fold" line in your website. Make sure your pertinent information is placed in the visible area which doesn't required that they scroll down. The "Buy Now" button is the most relevant component of most E-commerce sites.

25. When designing a website, focus on your primary marketing demographic and design it based on their interest, not yours. This being said, the "About Us" content on your website should not take a prominent position on your site. If your visitors are interested in learning about you, they will look for this.

26. Use a font size that is easy to read, the largest consumer group in America is now women born before 1964. Vision can be an issue. Also, electronic gadgets are getting smaller so make sure your font isn’t too large to be viewed on a cellphone.

If you have additional tips, please feel free to include them in the comments section below.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating... My cousin was searching this kind of info. He will be very happy when I give him your url. Thanks!


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