All of these things are part of a good web user experience. But do you have Click, Click, Aha!?
CLICK, CLICK, AHA!
Give the user what they are looking for in the fewest amounts of clicks.
Viewing a website should be a pleasant experience, not a chore. You have scant nanoseconds to capture your audience before they are swept away by something shiny or the ever present ‘DING’ of their email client delivering the latest kitten playing the piano video.
A good website:
Makes it very easy for the end user to find what they are looking for in the fewest amounts of clicks–two to three clicks, max. Don’t let your message get lost in a maze of confusing navigation.
Entices the user with good design, and hold them with useful information delivered in a personal way. Remember that adage about putting lipstick on a pig—it’s still a pig.
Makes your key information prominent and well organized. This does NOT mean that all content should be “Above the Fold,” or visible on the immediate screen in front of your user. If your content engages the user you can lead them wherever you want on your site–whether it is 4000 pixels straight down or ten pages deep.
Uses an appropriate conversational style. No one likes to be talked at. Web content should be written as if you are speaking face-to-face with your audience. There will be exceptions, such as straightforward presentation of data; but always remember your audience. If you are selling something, show enthusiasm. Don’t just state facts and expect the site user to be as jazzed about your product as you are.
Provides updated useful and relevant information as often as possible. Don’t make your site a one-trick pony. Nurture the relationship with your audience by letting them know what is going on with your company and any updates to the service or product that may be relevant to them. This will also make other sites and blogs want to link to your content – which is excellent for exposure and for search.
And the BIG ONE – Shows how you are different from everyone else—in a positive and useful way. Distinction is memorable and exciting.
Additional tip: collect your site data and monitor and analyze it. One of the most popular methods is with Google Analytics but most content management systems (CMS) have their own built in. Make use of this data as it will show you how people are using your site. If you see that most users don’t visit certain pages consider updating the content, reworking the tone or deleting them altogether. If you see users hitting two or three pages consistently, make sure you are updating that content or using those pages as gateways to other content you would like to highlight.
Keep your focus on your audience, monitor how they use your site and you’ll be ready to provide them with “CLICK, CLICK, AHA!” each time they visit your web site.