Our design concepts are definitely different. They may suit you, maybe not. Please read on...
What Makes a Web Site Good (or in sales hyperbole, Great)
To find out for yourself, you could do an internet search and you would find out opinions; lists of things to avoid on a web site; lists of things you must have on a web site, etc. And most of these are compiled by professional web site developers.
Seems great to get ideas from Web Site Developers... if your web site was designed to sell to them!
What makes more sense is for you to do some of your own research on your customers.
Now, I have already done that with my target audience and I will share that with you in a moment. But I really want to drive home a point. You really need to do some of your own research.
What is the Number 1 Complaint about Web Sites?
I did a lot of intensive surveying (some described it more as an interrogation) of my customer base. Above all, there was one complaint that rose above all.
"I cannot find the information I want."
This was broken down into 3 sub-complaints:
- It is difficult to get to the information (site not easily navigated - I cannot find my way around)
- The information (content) is not there
- The information (content) is out of date
How the OzLink.biz Style Addresses the No 1 Complaint
A horizontal menu (selection) bar that is always at the top of the screen makes it easy to find your way around. Most web sites have a horizontal selection bar but it goes off screen as you scroll down. Not friendly!
A vertical "Quick Links" menu that is always in the left margin provides a quick way to jump to other parts of the page, other web pages or web sites. This vertical "Quick Links" menu also stays fixed on the screen. It changes depending on which page you are on. The "Context Sensitive" nature of the Quick Links menu guides the user more intuitively.
"Content is King". You may have heard it before and our surveying confirms this. Content (information) is what people want. Consequently, our sites are "Info-Centric". This Content issue is the hard one. No way around it. And this has to come from you. It is what will distinguish your web site.
Avoid "Design-Centric" sites; that is, sites created by the designer to showcase their web programming skills. This would be fine if they were not spending your money on it. Remember, your web site is to showcase your products or services, not an expensive showcase for the web designer.
Kill the Graphics and Save Your Money! Take a look at the world's most successful site, www.Google.com. Now there is a company that could afford the best graphics; but they "Keep It Simple". Graphics can be distracting and expensive. Just to develop a simple logo (like the OzLink logo at the top of the screen) can be a couple of thousand dollars. Graphics make the pages look prettier but at what cost? They rarely add more real information to the web page (unless your business is graphics or art).
Keeping the Web Site up-to-date is another problem area. For small businesses, our strong recommendation is to make your web site timeless (Keep it Simple). Don't include references to time (dates, years) or information that is (or can be) dated (eg, newspaper articles). The result will be a Low Maintenance (Low Cost) Web Site that does not date quickly.
If information on your web site does change (eg, your address or phone numbers), update it promptly. Out-of-date information undermines the integrity (trustworthiness) of your site.
What is the Best Way to Conduct Your Survey?
You really need to find out what your customers (or your potential customers) want to see on your web site. One way to do this is to send out a form and get them to fill it out and return it. Easy but not very informative.
Much better, is an informal interview. You need to firmly ask the hard questions and then work to get the honest answers. The information you want needs to be extracted by questions like:
- What do you want to see on the web site?
- What is the thing you dislike most about web sites? Why is that?
- What is another thing that you do not like about web sites?
- What of information do you want to see? Will it help you buy my products/services?
- What is an example of a good web site? What did you like about it? Did you buy something from it?
Surveying 20 people like this is better than 1,000 survey forms. Start doing it with the next person you meet. Make up your own questions. Form your own opinion of what your customers want on your web site.
Why Not Copy What Everyone Else is Doing?
I think I need to be direct here. You will be rewarded for doing some of your own thinking!
Do you really:
- want to be doing what the average web site is doing?
- want to be average?
- really believe that the average web page suits your specific needs?
If what we have been saying makes sense to you, then contact us.
Full contact details are available at the top of the screen under "Contacts".