Create a Website Your Customers Love
“We must make it easy—extremely easy—for users to navigate to and between vital information on our O-site,” Marka said. “An effective navigation structure will contain these components:
- Navigation bar(s) that are easily identifiable, and in the same spot on every page.
- Navigation bar labels that are clear and concise (e.g. Fire Solutions, not FEI’s Firelighting Solutions for Hearths and Businesses).
- Navigation bar(s) with a reasonable number of links.
“One way to ensure our navigation is user-friendly is by simply asking friends or family members—or anyone not in the fire business—to navigate through our O-site, letting us know if and when they get confused,” Marka suggested. “Then, we’ll make structural changes as appropriate.”
• Is it free of errors or problems?
“This one’s practically self explanatory,” Marka noted, “yet also vitally important. Before launching our O-site, let’s go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Here’s a list—not necessarily all-inclusive—of what we should check for:
- Everything is spelled correctly.
- Every link works.
- Every image shows up.
- Design consistency—e.g. logos, navigation links, headers, footer with contact info in same spot on every O-page.
“Boy,” Zoot sighed. “I wish Olympus Brothers Watchmakers had put this much thought into making my watch.”
Attractive design means little if your website isn’t easy to use, load and navigate. When designing your site, make sure you can answer “yes” to four key questions about its usability. Does it load quickly? Is it easy to read and understand? Is it easy to navigate? Is it free of errors or problems?
FIRE! in Action: Diesel Concepts Improves Online Sales with Better Web Presence
The diesel engine parts manufacturer redesigned its website to focus on usability and conversion. The results? Online sales increased by 400 percent.
Next week: More tips on creating a website that looks good.