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Make Your Web Site User-Friendly

By Dejan Bizinger
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004

Making a web site is easy. Making a good web site is not so. Many people have email newsletter as a addition of their web site. They want to retain their visitors by offering them to subscribe to their newsletter. This way they ensure that they will have repeat visits. In order to have more subscriptions to your newsletter people need to be convinced to become your subscribers. Your web site is the most important thing for them to decide to subscribe to your newsletter.

Making a web site is easy. Making a good web site is not so easy. There are many things you have to consider if you want to make a good and successful web site.

Everyone who knows at least something about marketing knows that you have to fit your product so that it suits customers needs. Don't expect that customers will accomodate to your web site. If, from some reason, they get an impression that your site is confusing and that you didn't try hard to make their visit as easy as possible they will type some new URL in Address field. As you know, there are many web sites, so why do you think that anyone will bother to stay at your site if it is not enough good.

So, how can you make your web site user-friendly? I will try to explain you now.

Loading

In order that your visitor see your web site it must be loaded pretty fast. I could never understand someone who's web site is loading several minutes. Do these people think that people will really wait for their masterpiece? You can bet that they won't. Studies show that everything longer than 30 second is much.

Your page shouldn't be bigger than 30K. When you design your web site you should first put one table above your web site content where you will put a sponsorship banners. This is because that your advertisers can get good visibility. Also, your logo and company name should load very fast. One of the main marketing principles is that people have to remember your name, logo and your message. You probably have many competitors. Your brand-name have to be remembered. Otherwise, it is most likely that they will forget you and never come back again.

You can test your web site loading page at:

(http://www.websitegarage.com) or at (http://www.jimworld.com)

Colors

OK, let's suppose that your page have a decent loading time and that visitor decided to give it a try to your web site and your product. So, better that they find complementar colors on your web site. I guess that after they have came to your site you don't want that they leave with eye-sight problems. You have to know some basic things about how certain color fits to some other. Colors on your site can also depend about the your web site's type. It means that if you want to have some kid site your site can be very colorful with some animated images. Business sites, in most cases don't have to be to colorful.

You can find useful info about designing your web site at:

(http://www.htmlgoodies.com) (http://www.webreference.com) (http://www.dynamicdrive.com) (http://www.useit.com)

Information

If someone would asked you what is the single most important thing on web site, I hope that you would say that is information. You won't have many benefits if you hired someone who is expert in programs like Dreamweaver, who will make fancy animations in Flash, who will make extraordinary images in Photoshop and Corel Draw if people on your site can't find something because they come in the first place. That is information. Unless your site should be some kind of reference for company who wants to hire a web designer and you want to show them what you can, people in most cases are not much interested in design.

Take Google, for example. Its design could make anyone with a basic web design design knowledge. Google is the best search engine not because some fancy images. It is the best because of the information he provides. Remember that when you design your web site. Beside information about your product, people should be able to find a contact information on the first page. Also, it is not useful to have many info on your web site if people can't easily find what they want. You should try that all info on your web site be accessible with 3 or less clicks. Remember, if your visitors find useful information on your web site it is most likely that they will become your subscribers.

Automatization

It is very useful that you put some automatization on your web site. Why is that important? Well, if you expect that your visitors do something for you, first you have to do something for them. What I mean is that you have to help them to make some actions. I will tell you several examples where automatizations can be used.

Let's say your site have a lot of visitors. It won't be very wise solution that everyone who would like to ask you something contact you via email. It is not very convenient because you would get a lot of emails that takes up considerable time to answer. Good solution when you want to offer your visitors a choice to contact you about several topics to contact you via form mail. Then you ask for necessary info they have to provide. This is good because you won't get emails that are too broad nor to narrow. There are other use of form mails. For example for subscribing to newsletters, to order products etc..

Another good choice for using web site automatization are multiple subscription check-boxes. In case you don't know, this enables that your visitors can subscribe to several newsletters at once, which means by entering their email address only once. It is very important to have this script if you have several newsletters. Don't expect that many people will bother to subscribe to several newsletters if you don't make them easier to do it.

You can see an example at:

(http://www.lysts.com)

People often ask their visitors to recommend their site. Recommending a site can be done very effectively if you use a recommendation script. There people can enter email addresses of their friends and they will receive an invitation from hi or she to visit that web site. There are many scripts for this purpose.

You can find useful scripts for your site at:

(http://www.cgi-resources.com) (http://www.wsabstract.com) (http://javaboutique.internet.com)

There are companies which offer this service:

(http://www.letemknow.com) (http://www.recommend-it.com)

You have just read some tips for making your site user-friendly. Of course, there are many more to do. When you design your web site you have to put yourself in your visitor's shoes and ask yourself how would you like that a certain site look like. I want you to make great friendships!

About the Author
Dejan Bizinger is a Contributing Editor for SKYLIST, Inc. SKYLIST is a permission-based email delivery and list management services company. SKYLIST solutions assist businesses to seamlessly deliver, track, and report the results of email communications. For more information visit: (http://www.skylist.net)