Is Your “Wow” Factor Confusing Your Website User?

Excited businesswoman watching on line amazing news in a laptop sitting in a desk at office

Is Your “Wow” Factor Confusing Your Website User?

 

You’ve just found a link on Google that appears to have the information you’re seeking or the product you want to buy.

You see the exact keyword you searched for and you click through, excited that you’re going to actually purchase that gizmo you’ve been wanting, or get that fact that’ll show your neighbor you know what you’re talking about.

Then you get to the page and you can’t even find the words that were in Google. You’re faced with a spinning something or other and a set of globes that when you roll over they turn into icons that you’ve never seen before! On top of that, there’s loud jazz music suddenly blaring at you.

Welcome to the “Wow” factor.

Agreed, I have described an extreme situation above, but it happens more often than not.

Too often the “Wow” factor can distract and confuse your visitor causing them to forget why they are actually at your site.

Too much emphasis on graphics and animation can cause your site to load slow, causing your visitor to leave because they are just not willing to wait that long for your site to appear.

Too much content on your home page can also cause problems. Too many choices of where to click dilute your central message and makes it difficult for your user to determine the focus of the page.

It may seem to be a good idea to have all of the important information about your business (phone number, hours, directions etc), on your home page, while including all the research material from your internal marketing development committee’s last ten reports, but it’s more likely to be confusing.

Then there are the costs of “Wow” factor.

Flash development, additional graphic design and custom photography can add more production time and therefore increase your project costs.

It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. But ask yourself – is there bang for the buck? Does the use of animation and graphics for their own sake translate to support for the goals of your site?

Where to put your money? Towards the goals and user friendliness? Or towards the “Wow” factor which leaves them impressed, but not making contact? Hopefully a balance between the two: visuals supporting and enhancing your message, and content that makes your site more useful to your visitors.

The best “Wow” factor should be “Wow,” I finally bought that widget I was looking for!

Or “Wow,” I found the answer to my question!

Not “Wow,” what the heck is all this?????!!!!!!

The Exit Click – Are You Giving Your Visitors Reason to Leave?

Exit icon. Internet button on white background.

The Exit Click – Are You Giving Your Visitors Reason to Leave?

 

There’s a good piece of advice given to songwriter’s: Don’t give your audience a chance to check out. Which means a songwriter should keep the audience engaged with a clear story in their lyrics and keep the audience’s attention with memorable music that flows well.

The same is true of websites. But instead of just tuning out of your message and not listening (or reading), your visitor can leave your site entirely in one click – the Exit Click.

Here are two of many reasons your user may use their Exit Click.

1) Your navigation is confusing or over designed.

With the best of intentions designers and clients will work to create “original” and “creative” navigation buttons that are not necessarily obvious to most users how they function. “We think it’s great. Once they get used to it they’ll really love it. They’ll figure it out when they ‘get it’”.

Well the facts are users aren’t at your site to figure out how your website works. They are there to find out what you do, who you are and how to contact you. Making them work harder to find those things out is not the way to achieve that. Instead, you’re giving them motivation to take the Exit Click.

2) Having to search for the most basic information.

There’s nothing more frustrating than being on a website, knowing the company provides the service you want, you’re ready to buy and . . . you can’t find the phone number or an email address. You click on the “Contact” button and you get a contact form, but still no number. Now I’m an advocate of the contact form. However, the phone number is the most likely path for a motivated customer. Not seeing that within  easy reach can make your customer use they Exit Click.

The important thing to remember is once they’ve used their Exit Click, they are going to end up at one of your competitors’ sites.

Don’t give them an opportunity to check out. Keep them humming the tune and following the story of your website.

Want to find out more? Contact me.

Is Your Website User Friendly?

Usability - illustration with street sign in front of office building.

Is Your Website User Friendly?

 

I’m often asked to review websites and give my opinion as to why they don’t seem to be performing well.

More often than not, if a site has a pretty good Search Engine presence and it’s not doing well, then it’s likely to not have a friendly content strategy or well-defined pathways for the user to follow to find the answers to their questions and to get in touch with the site owner. This is known as being user friendly.

User friendly means when your potential or existing customer comes to your site they shouldn’t meet obstacles that make it difficult for them to find out about your products or services or to get in touch.

Here are three common obstacles.

1. Site – loads slow. Having wonderful graphics and lots of photos may look great on your own machine, and may seem to load fast, but for the user who is coming to your site for the first time, this can be one of the most frustrating experiencing experiences. Since they’ve never been to your site, their browser hasn’t “cached” the images and graphics yet. So it will take 3 – 4 times longer to load than it should.

One general rule of the Internet is a page should load quickly. Having to wait for a page to load is an opportunity for your audience to leave. We want to avoid that.

2. Knowing what your site is about in 4 seconds. That’s right. Your first screen should have a clearly defined statement about what your company does and who you are.

3. Contact Information – Making your user search for the most basic contact information is a primary problem on many sites. Phone numbers and an email address, at a minimum, should be on all pages. And you should always include a contact form to provide a means to help guide them in the type of information you nee from them in order to respond.

Being user friendly helps your site perform and thereby provides increased opportunities for your users to become clients.

Matthew