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The Rules of Website Design and Development

Podcast Number 76 — April 2012

Glenn and Tom talk about getting inside the head of Website users to establish rules for developing and designing a Website that gets results through better usability for the target market.

How are Website design and development rules established?

  • It all starts by understanding the target market.
  • Get inside the head of your users and really understand them.
  • Not all Web users are alike.

How are these rules made practical?

  • Survey your target market and spend some time living their issues.
  • Conduct user testing with the target market and compare those findings to Web stats.
  • Hire team members that are part of your target market and listen to them.

What areas should rules cover?

  • All areas of Web marketing should be covered in these rules.
  • Content is a key area for site-wide consideration.
  • Navigation and conversion points.
  • Use of design and photography.
  • Other areas that matter to your key demographics.

Aren’t most usability rules the same for all Websites?

  • Many fundamental usability rules apply to all sites.
  • All Websites should be easy to use for their specific target.
  • How they Website is used is the key difference.
  • These rules go further then the basics and focus on the target market.
  • The rules help avoid the online brochure problem.

What are a few examples of rules for specific target markets? Consider the differences between the following market segments.

  • Engineers and non-technical salespeople
  • Teenagers and the elderly
  • Construction workers and IT professionals
  • Mobile versus office workers
  • Real estate professionals versus accountants

What are the key action items for the listener?

  • Conduct research and take the time to get inside the head of your Website users.
  • Make a short list of universal standards for your Website.
  • Distribute those standards or rules to all team members.
  • Have someone make sure the rules are followed as your Website is updated.

Thomas Young

Thomas Young is the CEO and Founder of Intuitive Websites. He is a consultant, award winning Vistage speaker and author of “Winning the Website War” and “Sales and Marketing Alignment.” Tom has helped thousands of companies succeed online and has over 25 years digital marketing experience.