Top 10 Design Considerations
Long Download Times
Research shows that after 8 seconds, visitorís loose
interest Ė after 15 seconds you loose the visitor.
Bandwidth is getting worse, not better, as the Internet
adds users faster than the infrastructure can keep up.
Visitors typically donít notice if a site loads quickly,
but they nearly always notice when a site loads slowly!
Just because you can do it doesnít always mean that you
should! Keep your message and goals in mind and donít
try turning a sales pitch into and entertainment event.
Visitors typically enjoy the extensive multimedia
entertainment the first time they sit through it, but by
the third and fourth and fifth time that are becoming
quite tired of it!
Breaking up the Screen
Frames can be confusing for your visitors and for search
engines, use them only when absolutely necessary to
obtain your goals or carry your message. This represents
a special problem when the visitor wants to print the
page and all they get is one of the frames, typically
not even the frame with the information they were trying
60% of the users recently surveyed cited ďbroken LinksĒ
or ďLinkRotĒ if you prefer, as one of the most
frustrating problems on the web, second only to slow web
pages. The average visitor views broken links in the
same light as slow pages, after just a couple they will
give up and go to the next web site in their search
Did you know that the average web site visitor can find
the information they want only about 40% of the time?
Donít ever assume that visitors to your site know as
much about your site (or product, service, etc.) as you
do. Average visitors to your web site need the support
of a strong sense of structure and place. If they cannot
intuitively find what they are looking for, they will go
on to the next site in their search list!
Make sure your visitors donít confuse your important
content with irrelevant graphics or advertising. Donít
bury your sales message in entertainment. This is a sure
way to increase download times to values beyond what the
average visitor to your site will put up with!
Pages that donít show where you are, who the site is, or
where to go from there will quickly confuse the average
visitor. Clearly identify your company on EVERY page (or
frame when used Ė when printing a page they may not
print all frames). If the visitor is lost they will most
likely proceed on to the next listing in their search
Generally these exist merely to show off your webmasters
graphics talent or programming ability and must point to
another page to carry your message to the visitor. Even
when a splash page does offer your message, it is
generally viewed as an obstacle to the information the
visitor seeks. A large percentage of visitors to your
web site will never make it past these well-intentioned
entertainment (obstacle) pages.
Long Scrolling Pages
The average visitor to your site will generally miss
content not immediately visible. Drill down, donít
scroll, allowing your visitor to drill when and where
they want to rather than forcing them to scroll to the
bottom of every page they visit to make sure they donít
miss something. Organize and streamline for a more
effective site. If the visitor canít easily find what
they are looking for, they might as well be lost in the
woods without a map!
The wrong content in the right place or the right
content in the wrong place or not enough of the right
content or too much of the wrong content. There is a
vital difference between organization and structure; and
archival information and outdated content. Donít
loose your visitors and your credibility over these
issues. Give them a reason for coming back again!