Things you shouldn’t forget and things you should.
The importance of a website for the success of any business is beyond question. We are willing to dedicate all resources at hand to build a powerful and effective online presence. And in the process, we talk about catchy designs, relevant content, keywords, SEO, PPC and what not!
Now stop for a second and think; what is the most basic feature of any successful web presence? What does it all finally come down to?
The answer is way simpler than you think. To ensure the success of your website, you just need to make your visitors’ experience effortless and worthwhile. If the visitors enjoy being on your website, they are bound to come back. What this means is, whenever a user lands on your page,
one, he must find the information he is looking for;
And two, this process must be uncomplicated and painless.
I know what’s on your mind right now; “Hey I already know that! What’s the big deal?”
True, it rather is a very basic aspect that mostly all of us are aware of. But in the process of designing, sometimes we might overlook certain aspects about our website that might negate its “usability.” Here’s a checklist to help you add or get rid of features and enhance the visitor experience on your website:
Your website design must be self-explanatory. Landing on your webpage must not be like getting thrown in the middle of the Sahara. The visitor should be fully aware of where he is and what options he has to move forward. Your website must silently guide every step of the visitor, and before you know it, you have a sale!
Do not unnecessarily complicate! Your content and navigation should be concise and to the point. If your visitor sees a maze of instructions between him and his desired information, he’ll simply go to some other website and sponsor your competitor’s lunch.
Give them options, but only the relevant ones. No page should be a dead end for your visitors, where they have no options to move forward. But at the same time, users must not be served with options that are not even remotely related to what they are looking for.
Web users love guessing and hate thinking. We hardly stop to read and analyse each and every link description on a webpage. Rather, our tendency is to click on the first “seemingly correct” option that we come across while glancing at the website. This might not necessarily be the best option, but as long as it is relevant, there are no regrets. This habit of web users can be used to your advantage. By strategically placing important links at prominent positions, you can increase the possibility of a user noticing and following them.
It is easy to lose yourself in the online world. Surfing the internet is not like roaming around in the real world. There are no landmarks that you can use to remember the way you came from. There is only one absolution in the web space, the home page. So, you must ensure that your visitors can jump back to this landmark from any other page on your website. This can be done by adding a prominent “Go Home” button on every page, or making your site logo as a link to the home page.
For most web users, when nothing works, search does. Many web users look for a search box as soon as they enter a website. The search box must be a prominent feature on each of your pages and should be given a thought during web development for the "searchers" among your audiences.
While surfing online, users are barely interested in unnecessary small talks. This includes all the stuff you included in your content just to “be nice”. Visitors want concise and precise content that helps them acquire the information they are looking for. Keeping small talk to a minimum would not only help your users, but would also give a neat look to your website.
In nutshell, for a successful web presence, try to keep it genuine and simple. Heed to the words of great Leonardo Da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Don’t complicate things with wordy promises trying to win the trust of your visitors. People would be automatically attracted to your website if they can effortlessly glance around and find their desired information.