Web Site Design Tip 1 – Keep It Simple

Over the next few weeks I will be writing about how to create effective web sites. With technology and capabilities changing so fast, I think it is important to understand the essential elements of web design so that you can apply them to your site. The first is “Make it Easy” for the site visitor. EASY is the most important feature of any web site, web app, or program. There are five things about making it easy that I would emphasize:

– Discoverability – make sure everything is easy to find, features are meant to enhance a site, not distract.
– Recoverability – actions should be without cost. Ever go to a form and forget a step and have to go back and fill in the form all over again? Don’t you hate that?
– The web is about fulfilling needs – create things that let people do this as easily as possible.
– Drive usage. Generate touch points that direct site visitors to areas you want them to go within the site.
– Remove barriers to account sign ups – this is a real hot button for me. I can show you stat after stat that proves that the more information you ask for initially, the fewer sign ups you will get. Fight the impulse to get every question in the world answered and engage your audience first. Then go back and ask them questions. Rule 1 – Make the web site easy to use. Then make it easier.