Before You Create a Website

shaun-furlong-001-w300I’m Shaun Furlong, and I’ve been making websites since 1996 (which is a long time ago in the world of website making).

While I have seen a tremendous amount of technological advancement and innovation since those early days, I am still fascinated by how simple the rules of website/visitor interaction remain – and how often they are not followed.

If the following makes sense to you, let’s talk:

 

The 6 Simple Rules

 

1

We would do well to constantly ask ourselves who our visitors are and how will they benefit from their visits to your website. There may be multiple answers to these questions. For example, there may be more than one type of visitor coming to your website. They may want more than one thing. But we should be mindful of these questions, and use them to prioritize what people experience when they visit your website.

 

2

Just because we can do a thing, doesn’t mean we should (cool animations and automatic audio come to mind). Something is only a good idea if it helps us address the three questions in Rule 1.

 

3

Make it as EASY and INTUITIVE as possible for visitors to get what they want. If they guess at a thing, they should be right 95% of the time. Don’t make them work to get what they want from your website. Connect the dots for them.

 

4

Websites are dynamic and interactive, so give your visitors something worthwhile to experience. A website is not just an online brochure. If you can, update your content from time to time to keep it fresh. Give your visitors a reason to come back again.

 

5

Be careful not to make your website all about you – except to the extent that talking about you answers the questions in Rule 1.

 

6

What clients and customers think about your website is much more important than anybody else (including you). This includes other website designers, well-meaning friends, spouses, partners, family members, co-workers, colleagues and – least of all – your sister’s friend who “knows websites.”

 

Do these rules make sense to you?

 

If so, or if you have questions, contact me right now. Working together, we’ll get a credible, successful website for you up and running quickly and painlessly (by the way, that was the interactive, benefit-oriented, action item on this page – see Rule 1).