I really don’t mind giving my opinion on website design. And it’s always so nice to comment on a really good one for a change.
A photographer friend of mine asked for my reaction to his new website design while it was being renovated. My first reaction was very positive, with its clean, clear, crisp lines providing a very professional layout. It was the grey words and logo on the white background that did it for me – how nice to see an uncluttered presentation with plenty of white space and light!
But I felt compelled to provide some comments to increase his website efficiency:
The index page should work to the three second rule. Three seconds to make up their minds that this is the right website and what they should then do. Getting the visitors to do something is paramount; they should be encouraged to go further into the site to learn more, or sign up to something with a suitable incentive (this is to gather their details for future communications). The last thing you want is for them to leave!
Also, don’t overload other pages with detailed content. My friend’s grey text may have looked elegant and contributed to the spatial atmosphere that was so pleasing, but it did make it very difficult to read in large quantities. Websites are not like books. People don’t find it easy to sit down and read through webpages with a cup of tea. Also if they are surfing they usually do not have the time to plough through densely packed paragraphs.
Your accompanying webpages should act like little landing pages for specific subjects. This means they should contain the same structure and marketing elements as the index page, because spiders direct surfers to the most relevant page to their search, and this may not be the index page of the website. Allow for drop-in visitors for that particular subject, and adapt the page for the three second rule too.
Design your webpages with the initial concept of getting your customers to make contact. Once you’ve got them across your threshold then you can give them all the necessary detail to seal your capture. Your content should be delivered quickly and concisely with poignant and relevant information. Separate each benefit with bullet points or paragraphs. This allows the eye to rapidly choose what it wants to read and then enables the reader to digest and take action.