Visitors Come First: User Experience
Design philosophy revolves around user experience. A visitor’s first impression is a major part of a successful website design. Provide easy-to-use navigation, clean design and clear content, and they will like your site.
Google’s search engine launched well after Alta Vista, Excite and Yahoo were firmly established. Within just a couple of years Google established itself as the premier search engine on the web. It was the quality of content and ease of use that shot Google to search engine predominance.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, promoting or displaying; simple, easy navigation and relevant content will make visitors return to your site. Some of the plainest sites on the web maintain high traffic levels simply because they have good information.
The copy should explain in detail everything in which a visitor is interested and at the same time be direct and to the point. People don’t read or even scan every word on every site they visit, but when they find the information they are looking for, they want a succinct and robust explanation of that information.
Additionally, you should have enough text to explain to search engines what your site is about. The text should have many keywords and phrases repeated throughout so that search engine algorithms can figure out your site.
Appease the Searcher
A website should look clean, with navigation links in predictable, easy-to-spot locations. The design should avoid things that blink or move as they distract from the real content.
To prevent visitors from jumping to another website before they have a chance to see yours, minimize loading time. By using small graphics and writing succinct, dynamic scripts, the page should load quickly on both dial-up connections and broadband.
Once a visitor is on the site, it is important for them to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. The use of descriptive headings in a consistent manner encourages recognition. Thumbnail images are great for instant product recognition. The links on the site also tend to explain what information the site contains, so using descriptive words as the link helps communicate content quickly.