Having a nice looking website is not the be all and end all – sure, a slick looking site is going to give your company a fantastic online base, and at iFacility Software and Design we are experts in delivering the best contemporary looks across all our packages. But a well-designed site is so much more than just good looks, it must also perform optimally and serve its purpose.
We work closely with our clients to achieve the best possible platform for their business or organisation, and while we listen to everything you say to us, there are some things we advise against.
1) Do not use splash pages
Splash pages are a kind of replacement for what would normally be a homepage. The problem is they are a wasted page – why not get the visitor straight into your content? Web users decide quickly, and someone viewing a splash page is just as likely to click the back button as they enter one.
2) Do not use excessive banner advertisements
Ads have become a fundamental part of the internet world and companies have come up with increasingly subtle ways to sell us things. Therefore old-fashioned banner ads do not really cut it any more – more web users completely ignore them than click on them, they take up screen real estate and are now more associated with non-professional sites. Instead, focus on delivering strong content and creating reputable affiliate links, this will make your customers want to buy, instead of feeling rushed.
3) Have a simple and clear navigation
Navigation should be easy. If your website is a headache-inducing maze of menus, sub-menus, links and pages, there is more chance a visitor will not return and will not buy whatever it is you are selling. Avoid any complicated menu systems or flash-based drop downs, and make your visitor experience one of calm, not one of frustration.
4) Have a clear indication of where the user is
The main goal is to get visitors returning to your site and staying for longer when they do return. If you have fairly in-depth content it is wise to make sure the visitor always knows what part of your site they are on – this is important because they can then easily jump to any similar content or product you have. This ties in with having a clean navigation system, and can be achieved with simple headings or menus.
5) Avoid using audio on your site
Audio on a website is one of my personal pet hates. If the audio is a part of a media set up that can be used at the visitor’s discretion that is fine but forced audio (or video for that matter) is annoying and off-putting.