Have you ever navigated your way to a business website and left more confused than you were when you arrived? Have you ever wondered about the motivation behind the layout of a home page or the text of an “about us” section? We have. In fact, we wonder about these things every day, all day long. We’ve meditated on these things for many an hour. Here are some of the fruits of those meditations in the form a simple thumbs-up/ thumbs down guide.
Thumbs Up: Clarity
We love websites that are clear! This means harmonious layouts with appealing color schemes, but it also means easily accessible information and text that’s short, simple, smooth, and consistent with a recognizable theme.
Thumbs Down: Confusion
Why can’t I find any contact information? What exactly am I looking at? Who are you people? Where is the exit door? If you’ve ever found yourself searching in vain for a general website overview, or if you’ve ever clicked onto a website home page and felt like you’ve entered a conversation that’s already underway or opened a book in the middle, we sympathize. That’s no good.
Thumbs Down: Awkwardness
Have you ever been welcomed into someone’s home and suddenly found yourself feeling sorry for your hosts for no apparent reason? Or wondering what to do with your arms? The same thing can happen online. The website equivalent involves an unsettling atmosphere of choppy sentences, obvious budget shortcuts, and vague desperation.
Thumbs up: Warmth
Sometimes we feel the same way about websites that we do about people: We just like what we like. There’s just something about a person/website that welcomes us calmly and confidently at the door, lets us know exactly where we are and why, and leaves us feeling informed, relaxed and ready to move on with the day.