A couple things we need to keep in mind about modern-day Internet users: Our expectations are very high… And our patience levels are very low. We want our information FAST. We want to be able to find what we need in a matter of SECONDS. And if your website isn’t offering visitors those two key things, then you’re probably missing out on a lot of potential business.
The best corporate websites are always designed with clients, prospects and/or customers in mind. They are quick to load, have well thought out navigation and are very user-friendly. Here are a couple things to look for when evaluating your own website.
- Check the copy (text) on your site. It should be arranged in small “chunks” of information that are easy to process. Your users should be able to find exactly what they’re looking for without spending too much time searching. Use bullet points and lists to highlight the most important information on your web pages, as our eyes are naturally drawn to those elements.
- Web copy is easiest to read when it is set in a sans-serif font (like Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, etc.) on a light colored background. You might think white text on black might look “neat” or “edgy”, but it’s much harder to read. If you’re going to make a bold design choice like that, make sure the font size is large enough so visitors don’t have to strain to get the information they need.
- Take a close look at the design elements used on your website. Make sure the colors complement your logo, are consistent with your branding, and try to avoid colors that don’t translate well on-screen (like bright red and green). Color really says a lot about your brand… without you even realizing it.
- Stock photography is great. Just make sure the photos are purchased LEGALLY (ie. not “borrowed” from Google images) and that they convey the message you want to send. You might love the cute picture of the little boy playing in the sandbox, but unless your business directly relates to that particular image… it’s best to choose another option. Make sure the people in the photos relate to your target audience. Your customers should be able to visualize themselves in the images you select.
- TEST, TEST and re-TEST. You really need to make sure your website is functioning in 100% of browsers — 100% of the time. Broken links not only prevent a visitor from accessing the information they need, but also makes your business look unprofessional.
Check back for additional “tips” in the coming weeks!