Don’t be a Jerk! Make Your Website More User-Friendly!
Posted on October 11, 2009
You know what I’m talking about. A jerk is someone who’s being difficult on purpose. They could be nice and show you the way, but they just don’t feel like it. Well ask yourself. Are you being a jerk? Does your website make it easy for people to find what they are looking for?
The oldest rule of web design is “content is king”. The content on your website needs to be of interest, navigable, and accessible to your visitors.
Watch Your Readability: Research has shown that most people read text on a computer screen at about a quarter of the speed they read text on paper. This suggests the actual text of your website should be kept short and to the point.
Update Frequently: Websites are in constant need of upkeep. Check your copy for grammatical and spelling errors and monitor all your site links. Visitors have a tendency to poke in all the dusty corners of a website, so be sure to keep yours organized.
Customize your Footer: Your website probably already has a text-only navigation menu as its footer—this is pretty common practice. You could also incorporate other useful information as well, like your contact information (email, phone and fax numbers, etc.) to be more accessible to your visitors.
Create a Site Map: A Site Map is a categorized link index of your entire website. Visitor use them to find specific information quickly, and search engine “spiders” can “crawl” your site map to help classify and rank your website. If you are seriously interested in search engine optimization, consider looking into specialized “spider maps”.
Use Custom 404 Pages: A 404 error appears when a visitor types in a URL incorrectly or uses a link to a page that has been moved, deleted, or renamed. Rather than a cookie-cutter “Page Not Found” error page, consider using your site map or a special search page instead to guide your visitor to the content they are looking for.
– Tony Darrick Baker & K. L. Russell