It is so easy for us web designers to overlook the viewpoint of web design users in our frantic effort to deliver the latest technology using the best coding and cool designs. The fact is, unless web users are able to understand, use and navigate quickly through a web site, it will probably not achieve its objectives. I am not suggesting that all web design solutions are simple. A lot of web sites actually deliver very complex online solutions. However, no matter how intricate the web design solution, the interface with the user must always be simple and clear.
Web site users generally do not spend more than 10 seconds on a site. This is the nature of the online audience. There is so much information out there, so many web sites, so little time. We live in a ‘zapping’ society where patience, endurance, tolerance for the unusual are words that are fast disappearing. As internet connections and processing speeds increase almost exponentially, we tend to flick quicker from one web site to another in an effort to see more or just out of habit. This is the web designer’s nightmare. How to get the web user to stay longer on a site, spot the calls to action and actually get an action.
A good web design solution should address this issue. In my opinion, the simpler the web design, the easier the navigation and the more you explain how your web site works, the greater your chances of attracting attention and generating leads with your web site. Look at Google. The backend of the search engines involves the most complex web coding on the Internet, yet there could not be a simpler interface than a text box to search using keywords. It works because users prefer simple and straightforward web design solutions.
So, the next time you are pondering over a web design project, think simplicity. Get every obstacle out of the way of your web user. He the latter hesitates while navigating, rethink your web design. Use familiar navigation paths and icons. People like to encounter the familiar in web designs. They are comfortable with web design features they see regularly on the Internet. Innovation is fine, but get the balance right. You can preach change as much as you want, as long as you do not change too much.
So, simple navigation, familiar icons and buttons, explicit and simple instructions are some of the basic ingredients to capturing the speeding attention of your web user. However, bear in mind that search engine crawlers do need content to figure out what your web site is about. A good balance would be to keep the top fold of your web design nice and simple with the bare essential whilst including enough text further down your web page. The text can be useful information about your products and web design services for instance.
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