If you have a business website, or just are planning one, read this article. Print it out. Apply it to your site! No, really, print it out and compare your site to each and every point.
This year’s list of top problems clearly proves the need to get back to Web design basics. There’s much talk about new fancy “Web 2.0” features on the Internet industry’s mailing lists and websites, as well as at conferences. But users don’t care about technology and don’t especially want new features. They just want quality improvements in the basics:
- text they can read;
- content that answers their questions;
- navigation and search that help them find what they want;
- short and simple forms (streamlined registration, checkout, and other workflow); and
- no bugs, typos, or corrupted data; no linkrot; no outdated content.
Anytime you feel tempted to add a new feature or advanced technology to your site, first consider whether you would get a higher ROI by spending the resources on polishing the quality of what you already have. Most companies, e-commerce sites, government agencies, and non-profit organizations would contribute more to their website’s business goals with better headlines than with any new technology (aside from a better search engine, of course).
This article feels like sweet justification. My site designs have been called “old fashioned” because I focus them on usability and readability; never on flashy content. This is fixin’ to be required reading in my website class tonight!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.