So you've learned how to build a successful landing page, now what? How can you make your website more appealing to users and attract more visitors to return to your site?
Let me start off my recommending you check out this great video YouTube by Aza Raskin entitled 'Don't make me click'.
It's about computer interface design, and how, given the limitations of the computer visuals and interactions, you should design an efficient user interface that allows users to do what they want, in the shortest time possible. Why? Because even though users go to your website for content, the amount of time they have to spend navigating through your site to find that content is a huge opportunity cost to them.
To retain visitors to your site or landing page, you need to present your content in the simplest manner possible without getting into the way of your visitors while utilizing the simplest interaction interface. If the interaction required increases, the users' information density decreases. When this happens, the content in your page decreases and users go away. Now, that's not what you'd want, especially for an internet web business.
The best interface is having no interface – If your user doesn't notice the interface that they're using, that's the best that can happen! If they do notice the interface, chances are they're not really noticing your product or service.
The fundamental idea is that your website falls somewhere in between the 2 poles of 'Boring' and 'Annoying.' You want to make the user's experience an interesting one on your website, but you don't want to annoy them; what you want is a Zen internet application, or what Raskin calls, 'an oasis interaction'.
'How am I supposed to create a user-friendly interface?' You may ask, because it's apparent that not all of us are computer interface design geniuses. There are a few things we can take home from Aza Raskin's talk which you can use to make your website one that balances between the poles of boring-ness and annoying-ness.
To the user, the interface is the product. Consider Bill Buxtom's marketing example: he puts up a picture of a bike for sale. Well, it looks nice, but it's not a compelling buy-me image. Compare this to a picture he puts up later of a guy rushing through a stream on the bike, with water and mud everywhere, but you can't see the bike. The latter picture portrays an image of an experience, and even though both bikes are the same, our reactions to them are different. Of course, that's not to say what you're selling is not important, it is! But it's the experience is what matters – images that help users self-identify with themselves are going to increase conversions and help retain the visitors to your site. Here are 10 ideas on ways you can enhance your website interaction for your visitors:
Don't fall into the seduction of interaction; don't try to make things cool with lots of icons and flash pictures and multiple animations – its annoying.
Instead of using lots of image links to make your website look interesting, try using tabs on the side instead (tabs on top require your visitor to scroll all the up, or all the way down the page to choose their next destination).
Try using scroll functions for your websites: make your users scroll more (an example is the Google map, which zooms in and out when you scroll up or down) rather than click more.
Don't ask your users to make decisions they don't care about (e.g. view browser in this dimension or that dimension – do visitors really care?)
Take advantage of recognition – give people hints and suggestion of what they might want or need. You may want to include search bars in your website that says 'search this site' and provide auto suggestion like Google.
Take note that more interaction means more processing – NOT more clicking.
Content is still king – You have to make sure your website has useful content; it's hard making visitors come back to an empty site.
Get rid of unnecessary words – go straight to the point.
Design your website for easy scanning, not reading. Users like to scan content and choose only things that are of interest to them to read.
Buttons and links should have short text and if you want people to click on it, make it look clickable.
It's amazing how small changes in a website interface can change the amount of traffic it receives! 'Don't make me click' plays on the book 'Don't make me Think' by Steve Krug. It's a great book with even more information than the video!
FYI - Check out Aza Raskin's website at www.humanized.com. You'll find products that can help improve your own computer interface.
By: Kyra Zhao, Team and a Dream Intern