You can create a website
that attracts customers, not repels them, with a little
common sense advice.
Everyone wants an attractive professional looking website.
But too often businesses think they need a GLITZY site with
all the bells and whistles when what they really need is a
functional site that attracts customers.
Creating a user-friendly website doesn't require a lot of
money or a staff of professional, high priced, designers.
If fact, they can be the very thing that leads you to go overboard.
All you really need to know is what your customer
wants and how to deliver it in a way that even a first-time
visitor can understand.
How do you know what your customers want? Listen! Keep track
of the questions they ask when they visit or call. Then make
sure those questions are answered right on the site.
Since the web uses hypertext, it connects to information
in many different ways. Unlike a library, where a book just
sits on a shelf, a website should allow pages to be accessed
the way users think about information.
You will have a better site when it is designed to support
flexible human behavior and not just one path for people to
Visitors will not stick around for slow overloaded sites,
that might have looked good but just aren't worth the wait.
Remember that for the next few years, most users will access
the Internet through slow modems. So web page design that
addresses the needs of the masses, has a better chance to
be seen and appreciated.
Your pages must download quickly, or users may not only,
not follow the links, but may also have trouble navigating
the site. People are more likely to get lost on slow sites
than fast ones and more likely to leave and not return.
Even on the Internet, it's true that buyers want to see what
they are buying; but over loading a page with slow loading
images of products can be a big mistake. You would be better
off with small (thumbnail) images and follow with larger images
on succeeding pages.
Text downloads faster than graphics; but it is important
to minimize the words on a page as well. Research on how people
read online shows "They don't". They tend to scan.
Users prefer concise text that's easy to scan, with a liberal
use of highlighted words, bulleted lists and sub-headings.
Users would rather have the "facts" than the "fluff"!
The average user will probably only spend a few seconds on
your home page deciding whether it's worth their time to go
further or go on to the other 10 million sites on the Web.
If you make users wait to long, they leave. If you confuse
them, they leave. If your site is too wordy, they leave. However,
if your site is easy to use and is full of useful content,
Remember, anybody can put up a website. But companies that
put up a user-friendly site get the business.
Source: "James Capobianco has been self-employed for over
25 years, both on and offline. At his web site, Cap-Tech.com,
he shares his experience and expertise when it comes to owning
your own business. Come pay a visit at: http://www.cap-tech.com