ec Newsletter #16
Happy New Years & gudday from a refreshingly cool Gisborne - and I hope you had a great break with friends and family.
Welcome to the new subscribers to the mailing list and I hope you get some great ideas for your web projects from these newsletters.
We are continuing our great "six months free hosting" deal see the bottom of the newsletter to find out how you can have six months on us...!
The past Newsletters can be found here; our contact details are below as is the unsubscribe information at the bottom.
This is the first newsletter for the year - and we had some great feedback from our last Newsletter about the different ways to get revenue from your web site - click here if you missed it - and email me with any comments.
In this Newsletter we are continuing the series on "Information Architecture" and would love to hear from you with a suggestion for content for future Newsletters.
Information Architecture - Page Layout
One of the more difficult aspects to being able to maintain and grow your online information using a content management system is to work out how information should be laid out on the pages of the web site.
In this, the fourth of a series of articles, I'll look at some of the common features of a web page and discuss how they could - or should be laid out.
The overall design of the pages on your web site are one of the key elements to reinforcing the quality statements about you and your organisation - get this wrong and people will be predisposed to not "trust" you or to not want to go further into the site - even if it looks like you may have the products or services they wish to find more information about.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - but your website visitors don't see your website in a vacuum - that is - they have knowledge and experience of using lots of web pages before they visited yours.
This means that your web pages need to look as good or better - than the others that they have seen - especially if that group are your competitors.
There are also lots of web pages out there - so if yours is hard to navigate, doesn't look enticing or loads slowly - the visitors have gone back to their search results already.
In this way visitors are very quick to pass judgement on a new web site they haven't seen before, and even the load time of a page is related to the perceived quality of the site - the faster a page loads the higher quality of the web site (and so the company) is perceived.
Page design can affect many of the "soft" issues that arise from good or bad page layout and design - I'm sure everyone has seen bad examples of web design and not bothered to visit those sites again.
Great page design can reinforce all of those great quality statements that you want the potential or existing client to feel when dealing with you.
Great page design can make the web page "invisible" - so that the content is the only thing the visitor remembers rather than the difficult menu system, or the search engine that didn't seem to work that prevented the visitor from finding the information they wanted on another site.
Great page design should be intuitive - it should allow people to move through the site, as information consumers, easily and simply - and also to lead them to the goals that we have worked through with you as the "calls to action" for the site.
Information architecture and page design has had a long relationship - we also need to add a dose of usability to the mix along with the marketing outcomes required of the project.
Add all that together - shake with our knowledge & skills since 1995 and you will get a web site that works - and continues to work as you add content to it.
We have found that simple is always the best - we expect that all of our projects look good - and that they deliver great results.
Many of our projects also have different looking homepages and internal pages - this helps with the homepage typically having more link options on it, while the internal pages typically have more textual content on them.
Updates to the "look" of a homepage can be different to the plain content pages - as we covered in the last Newsletter - and both "looks" can be reasonably easily changed to a new look.
We also see fashions in web design and lately the "Web 2.0" & "Software as a Service" web tools have developed their own distinctive "look".
A new look helps in keeping repeat customers coming back and may help reenergise you to maintain the web site through the New Year and through these tight times.
Contact us if you'd like to chat about your new or reenergised online project...
Here's a Blog post that I refer to often:
50 ways to take your blog to the next level
It has some great ideas under some very serious headings - a great read if you are considering a Blog - a must read if you already have a Blog...!
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Cheers and thanks again