This is clearly a subjective sphere and without doubt, users will be attracted to websites which are special or just that little bit different from the next one on the list. Annoyingly enough, users also what to know that the layout of site A is not radically different from that of site B. Visitors need to know what to expect in terms of layout and navigation when they are extracting information from the web.

Website Navigation

Einstein famously said that if you cannot explain your findings to a non-specialist (he referred to his grandmother), then you have not properly understood them. How many times have you gone to a meeting and come out of it none the wiser to what was actually discussed or what your obligations are? The point here is that website navigation should be as ordered and simple as you can make them. If you overload your homepage with offers and/or icons visitors the website will appear confusing and disorganized. Additionally, making your website appear to be hip or fashionable gives an impression of contrivance. Either way, people are likely to be put off and look elsewhere. The answer is to blend your quality information with practical or useful information which is presented in a way which appeals to users. Finally, your links should aid user navigation and be able to improve the ranking of your site by engines.

Advertising and images

Most of us recognize that some sort of advertising represents a source of essential revenue and depending on your point of view are ambivalent as to the validity of its presence. Within this frame, the advertising itself should distract people from website content. So, as obvious as it sounds the placement and size of any adverts (particularly if they are animated) need to fit within the overall architecture of the website and not the other way around.

Images are essential to websites design and functionality, relevant images are not a problem when a website is being constructed. Having said this if the load time for your website is compromised because there are too many images, your website will clearly not enjoy sustained traffic. This eventuality can be stopped by placing any extra images into a purpose-built and well- presented image gallery. Have one image embedded in the content and three which relate to it in the gallery.

Ease up on the text.

Doubtless, there are academic, specialist and news sites where visitors know they are going to see the latest research and reportage presented in the form of primary or secondary literature which may be filled with industry-specific terms. However, outside of this frame and especially in mobile applications the last thing any user wants is to be reading through pages of text. The idea is to have short punchy paragraphs and or bullet points with images that are both relevant and engaging.  In short, the last thing you want is pages to be overburdened with wordy and/or irrelevant text. In other words, images beget impact text does not!

Software and navigation need to be standardized and user-friendly so that people spend time actually working on the website as opposed to deducing what they have clicked and what a particular feature actually does.


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