Make the Right Website Design Decision
By Thomas V. Young
In ten years of working on Internet marketing projects, we frequently see major problems in how Website design decisions are made. One big culprit is the “sample size of one” issue. Which means, one-three people make decisions on how a Website is used based on personal opinions or preferences. This is a recipe for problems. The chances are visitors use the site very differently than the site’s owners or developers expect. Let’s take a closer look at why this happens and how to avoid it.
Too Close to the Business
In many ways, Websites are business plans for the world. This is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it presents a great opportunity to announce your business to many people; a curse because site developers are often too close to the business and don’t talk in the language of prospective customers.
Customers Versus Prospects
People that know your business will understand the Website, but this does not help with prospective customers, who provide the real growth from your Web marketing efforts. The Website must speak to these users to drive conversions and growth.
Website Stats and Google Analytics
Website stats tell the story of visitors not connecting with a Website. It is common to see bounce rates over 50% and shopping cart abandonments rates near 70%. This can happen for many reasons. One common reason is developing the site from an internal view, rather than from the perspective of your site visitors.
It is easy to avoid “sample size of one” problems and make sure your site makes sense to your target market.
- Develop a Web marketing strategy and plan before you launch.
- Get feedback from users by asking what they want to see on the site.
- Conduct user testing and ask people to use the site while you watch.
- Check stats and set goals for the Website.
It is easy to develop a Website in a vacuum, with very few people controlling the site’s design and development based on personal preferences. Avoid this trap and get feedback from users. One-three people do not make a solid sample of your Web visitors and can lead to confusing Websites that perform poorly.