Most people think that you need a Flashy Website to get your customers attention and get them to hit the ‘Add To Cart’ button. This is one of the misconceptions of website design. Many companies make allot of money overselling their services and make your website that is very slick and may win a design competition. But this also can mean that the beginner or intermediate computer user, and potential customer, will be staring at you first page trying to figure out what to do next. Or if they have a dial-up connection they may be sitting around for a long time waiting for you cool graphics and flash to load. We all know how that feels!
You want something that is visually attractive, but also something easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. The best webpage design is one that naturally shifts your attention to the content and the navigation of your site. Your customer should see the product or services you provide, specific information about those products or services, clear and accurate photographs of your products, pricing, ordering and contact information. The navigation on your site should make it easy for your visitors to find the items they are searching for.
Look at some of the most successful website’s, eBay, Amazon, and the most simplistic Google. They all have the very simple design, logo on the top and navigation on theft side or the top under the logo. No Flash/Animation crazy load screens, No complicated navigation with interactive buttons. Granted these website’s try to sell 100’s of products, so they have allotted of content on the front page. Maybe more that you will need on your site.
Your website should have some graphical elements, pictures, animation, flash, but not too much. Just enough to look visually impressive and highlight your products and services. But, to much ‘Web Bling’ can make it difficult for your customers to find what they are searching for, distracting and confusing to look at and increase the load time of the site. And most importantly “It Usually Costs More!”
It sounds simple and straightforward, but it makes allot of difference when you are shopping around. Most web surfers, potential customers, will click away from a site after only 4 or 5 clicks if they cannot find what they are looking for or do not like what they see. You need to realize that many web surfers are not ‘computer savvy’ and many are older people that can be easily confused by a complicated website.
Do some research for yourself, search for Website’s that offer the same products that you plan to offer on your website. Look at the design of your competitor’s sites and how easy it is for you to find specific products or information. Use the criteria that I mentioned and see how many sites ‘break the rules’ and risk confusing and frustrating their customers. If it is to complicated to find the information that they are looking for, your customers will go somewhere else.