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Start a good habit and write,”The best ecommerce web site designs are simple”, and stick it to your monitor.
Sure the hand-painted fish may look pretty, but is it necessary?. Ask yourself this question as you design your site. Could a ten year old girl navigate around my site to find what she needs?. If she can’t. Change your design until she can.
Simplicity is best. Make your site extremely easy to use and navigate.
So if you get nothing else from this article, remember to Keep It Simple. After all, simplicity is simple to follow.
The best web sites are “the best” because:
# The best ecommerce web site designs have a simple navigation menu on the left-hand side, as we tend to read from left to right so this makes sense.
# The best ecommerce web site designs entice and inspire readers to continue scrolling the page, soaking up the high-value content.
# The best ecommerce web site designs use no more than 2 readable fonts. Preferably, use only one readable font such as Arial or Verdana.
# The best ecommerce web site designs have plenty of white space around the main passage of text.
# The best ecommerce web site designs have interesting and fast loading pictures to help break-up the text.
# The best ecommerce web site designs have plenty of short paragraphs to break-up long text and help maintain the readers attention.
# The best ecommerce web site designs have clear text links throughout the site leading you up and down the various tiers.
Try this Experiment
Try this tomorrow, go to a new website. Firstly, you are trying to understand how to move around this site. If you struggle to “find the links” and “get the drift”, you know what will happen. Click. Click. Your gone in a flash to another site. If you have an existing website, pretend you have never been there before and enter your site as a new visitor. Do you struggle to find your way around?. Probably not. Since it’s your site.
Let’s find a better way to really understand how “user friendly” your site is. Let’s up the ante and test your site while observing live humans move around your graphics and pages of text.
Testing your site
“Readers want small, fast-loading pages, free of dead links.” Terry Sullivan, Pantas.org
Your site’s user friendliness will make it sticky. Many ecommerce web site designs are often laughed at for their lack of usability. First impressions really do count. Make sure your site rocks and is in the elite group. The best web site designs are sought after by many businesses with fat wallets. Here is a less expensive way to test your site.
One evening, invite 6 different people you know, to help you test your site for it’s ease of use or user friendliness. Ask people with different backgrounds, and different levels of ability, some very experienced computer geeks who know how to use the Internet, and a few newbies who barely know how to power-up a computer.
Pay attention to your site testers, particularly the newbies, as they will tell you the most valuable information you need too make your site extremely easy to use. Write copious notes.
Thorough site testing helps ensure you will have a very usable site.
The site testing standard now is to:
# Test your site on at least 6 people. This will iron out 80% of navigation problems.
# Ask your site testers why they clicked on an image or piece of text. Do not merely observe what they clicked. Ask your site testers why they did it!.
# Note the order of what your site testers click. This will give you an idea of the path your site readers will take when they visit your site for real.
# Ask a constant flow of questions. Don’t be afraid to stop your site testers at any point and ask them, “Why did you pause at this page?”, “What grabbed your attention here”.
# Learn as much as you can and aim to constantly improve your user interface.
# Understand, any criticism you get will help you improve your user’s experience. And keep them coming back for more.
# Reward your site testers with a freebie. Free movie ticket, Book voucher or $20 cash. Remember, they have given up their free time to help you. Give them something too nibble on too. Non-greasy finger food is ideal.
# Take plenty of notes as you observe and question your testers actions.
# Over the next coming days, while fresh in your mind, use your neat notes to adjust your site to make the navigation simple.
# Remember, you only need to test your site on 6 people, and make the necessary improvements, to get one of the best web site designs on the Internet.
More important tips to memorize…
TIP #1.Take your site readers by the hand and lead them through your site.
TIP #2.At bottom of each page, always include a link to continue reading at the next page. Examples: Click here to go to the next page.
TIP #3.Your website is not fine art. Don’t think of your site as glossy artwork.
A painting sits on the wall to be admired. Build a web business that gets the order.
The best site designs are clean and easy to navigate.Leave the fancy graphics at home. People come to your site for content only.
TIP #4.Create the ultimate customer experience.Today many on-line business strategies stick like glue to “Creating the ultimate customer experience”. After all, take Amazon.com as an example. Amazon spends most of their resources on making their customers have a better experience online when they arrive at their site. Shouldn’t you be doing the most to make your customers navigate your site easily and more importantly understand “what your customer is experiencing right now?”. “Your strategy should over-deliver on everything you do.”
TIP #5.A friendly warning. Don’t blow your nest egg on an expensive designer. Do it yourself.
Many businesses have been burnt badly by expensive web designers. In the years, 1994 to 2004, business owners spent their nest egg on the proverbial on-line presence.
I used to run a web design company and here is what I used to hear in 95% of cases.
A business owner calls a web designer, and tells the geek to, “Just get something up quickly about us, our products, and contact information”. What a bomb of an idea.
The truth about why this does not work.
The business owner has no real intention of working hard to make his on-line business succeed. Some would disagree. However, my own personal experience has showed many business owners talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. She must spend a lot of time working hard to make her business online thrive.
There are of course exceptions to this rule, but you have to swift through 20 business owners to find one or two hard working, market savvy men or women.
The web designer designs sites, just like a painter,paints a pretty picture, that is all they do. Please note, web designers, don’t necessarily know how to create the best ecommerce web site designs. You need to ask yourself if your site is extremely easy to use. And you must test it yourself on real live people. Only then, will you know if your site, is usable.
It’s not the web designer’s job to promote the site,write inspiring and interesting content for the site, and turn the site into an actual web business. This is the job of the business owner.
You are better to make the website yourself. No technical skills are required. Just a passion for getting the job done, concentrate on writing inspiring content your readers will value, learning what works, growing your business online.
In summary, ecommerce web site designs kept simple, made with the user in mind, backed up by user testing, will, “set the tone” for a pleasant user experience.
TIP #6.Remember, “The best ecommerce web site designs are simple”. No flashy graphics are required.