Why do people visit websites? To gather information. To look for something to do. Maybe it’s just to waste some time randomly searching for…something – something valuable.
There are thousands of horrendous websites out there. You’ve seen them. The nav-bar is screwed up. Loading times remind you of a pack of slugs. The site was designed by committee and not by caring people, who understand the value they’re bringing to the table.
Most people are unforgiving – that’s why laboring over your UX (user experience) and website design is so instrumental in keeping people happy, and returning to your site again and again.
1. No Auto-Play
Ever. Ever ever. Never ever use auto-play – not with videos, music, or even in the background.
You don’t know if your visitors want to hear or watch what you want them to. So let them decide! How? By…
Sticking a play button on the page. That’s that. It’s an insult to think you know what people want to watch or hear and start playing it without their consent.
I’ve clicked off some pages the SECOND a video auto-played. Didn’t even matter if the video might have been helpful – I didn’t want the video to play itself.
No looking around for the mute button. *Fwpt!* Gone. Never went back to the site, either.
2. Stick To Your Purpose
Your website should serve a basic purpose: to be the site that will solve the question someone asked a search engine.
More than anything, if your site indulges in one niche – and you’ve put hundreds of dollars into maintaining your brand marketing… Stick to it! People come to your site for a reason – be that reason and nothing more.
We all know that trying to please everyone is (metaphorical) suicide as you cannot make everyone happy. The people who come to your site are there for a reason. Nothing more and nothing less. If you want to build an e-commerce site, start blogging, develop an app – leave it to experts. You work on promotion, getting traffic and converting them into leads/sales. Stick to your “prime” purpose, quality-service & quantity-cash!
3. Less Is More
Ah-hah! The cliche is back! Hurrah.
The time-old adage makes its return here, because to this day it keeps true… proving itself, time and time again. With virtually nobody around to get rid of it.
That is… it’s as true as ever if you want to transform visitors into paying customers. Well-paying customers.
The less “content” you’re smashing in front of peoples’ faces, the more they’ll actually be able to see. Now isn’t that just mind-boggling!
It makes sense, though. The less clutter in front of your face, the better your chances of sight. Say you’re trying to find a flash drive in a room overflowing with newspaper headlines and print outs of Cracked.
Important stuff in that room, right? Yet the most valuable thing is tragically hidden…
Besides, “stuffed in” works (no matter what medium) that look busy and muddy… are ugly and amateur.
Let’s say you have a nav bar with 8 options for clicking. Scientists discovered that humans can only see up to 4 things at once. The more choices you give them, the higher chances of brain farts… and eventual Close Tab.
4. Layout Is Not King
When your site looks good, and visitors can’t see the effort you’ve labored over for hours upon hours upon weeks, perhaps months… When (as is the case with many people who don’t realize the effort that goes on behind the scene) people don’t talk about the design – you’ve done a good job.
Kind of like heroes – you don’t notice them until something goes wrong.
Designs should never draw attraction to themselves. You’d figure, right? Well, turns out that lavishing peoples’ eye-holes in intricate, flourishing designs… SOMEHOW ends up distracting them from what your site offers.
You know those video games with jaw-dropping graphics, decent story-lines… and absolutely abysmal game-play?
Never let aesthetics pass over function.
A compelling website, a truly compelling website, is one that you can access across all mobile devices, browsers, and operating systems. Whenever and wherever you are. Over 5 billion people will use mobile by next year, overthrowing the number of desktop users.
Every single element of the site works seamlessly, with each other. Your internal links. Forms. Nav bars. Pages. Logos. Color schemes. Menus. When everything is syncopated, you’re one step closer to reeling visitors in and keeping them there.
Whether you’re designing a new website or looking to upgrade, to keep people returning to your site over and over again is a never-ending challenge. Ideas change. Algorithms change. Often, what attracts some people today, they grow bored of the next. So, it is best to…
To always be changing. Forever growing. Gathering knowledge, about web design, about what looks attractive – streamlining code and scripts. If you have a WordPress website, the community has you covered with new plugins releasing frequently to cater your needs. The best way to build a compelling website is to never grow stale, and tired. To keep changing this and trying out that.
Experiment with what you learn because what you learn, and how you apply it to your own site, just might keep people coming back to your site, hungry for more.
Featured photo credit: pexels.com via pexels.com