40: Get To The Point

In the last entry, “Web Impatience”, the quotes reinforce my philosophy of just publishing a “product or service positioning statement” on the home page and including simple navigation with minimum decoration. The user wants to know immediately what the point is of your website. “What’s in it for me?” “Why should I care?” There must be instant recognition, simplicity, and clarity of why to stay or explore. Most home pages have too high of information density –aka clutter. Or in design language, “Emphasizing everything means emphasizing nothing.” These bad habits slow page download time and visitor comprehension.

The more focused the site the easier to optimize. General purpose, generic, “authority” websites do NOT fill the needs of information seekers. Smaller fast sites are the solution. Distributed information prevents information overload. Don’t present one bloated centralized site with 1,000 pages –rather 100 small sites that answer specific problems. It’s time to break up big sites into separate URLs based on market need. This makes information easier to find. Severe self-imposed limitations are needed to avoid visitor “boredom factor”, eliminate poor usability, and improve information findability.

39: Web Impatience

I did some studying about “web impatience.” Here are some good links:

Web Visitors vs Users, Impatient vs Bored and how they affect Website Change Management
And some quotes:
Functionality vs Visual Design
“For the most part, functionality wins over visual eye candy with users. Business users routinely put up with desktop applications that do what they need without swooping curves, dripping in glass buttons and subtle gradients. There is however a growing expectation of a minimum level of visual design on the web. Maybe this  makes up for the fact that sites still rarely deliver everything a user wants.”

The Impatience of Web Users
“According to the BBC, web usability guru Jakob Nielsen’s latest report finds web users less tolerant and patient when it comes to web sites.
Some key quotes from Dr Nielsen in his BBC piece
“Web users have always been ruthless and now are even more so..”
“People want sites to get to the point, they have very little patience..”
“I do not think sites appreciate that yet,they still feel that their site is interesting and special and people will be happy about what they are throwing at them.”
It’s a big challenge for brands to get their emotions, richness and feelings across, when all a user wants to do is find out the price of a product.
I guess this is all about options and navigation, allowing the user to get to a place fast if they need to, but according to Dr Nielsen, most want to take the expressway.”

Impatience rules the day online
“Few business web sites achieve this. They often provide a general summary and navigation which is difficult to penetrate. There is often some kind of company history on the front page and few obvious ways in which the visitor’s issue is solved.

Nowadays, people are looking for instant solutions to specific problems. That means, for instance, that you can no longer have a web site that covers your topic of, say, marketing. Instead, you are going to need specific pages or sites that cover things like, “how to get more interest in postcard marketing in London”. In other words, your web site offerings are going to have to be very, very specific.

Gone are the days of looking for millions of visitors to your web site. You now have to think of having millions of pages that target individual users. It is a complete reverse of where most businesses currently sit in terms of thinking. Most business web sites are being put together with the principles learned on the web in the late 1990s and the early years of this Century. Web users, though, have moved on. It’s time for businesses to catch up.”