Ever been to a website where the bells & whistles, graphics, or ‘special effects’ actually added to—rather than detracted from—the whole user experience (UX)? How about one where the colors just didn’t mix, or where you ended up with a dead link? Sometimes websites offer far too much glitz, and far too little substance, or have the best navigation in the world, but no aesthetics at all. There are at least ten criteria that make a website rock; for the purposes of this tip, I’ll list the top five. Next time you’re on a website that you love, or maybe one that you’d click away from after 10 seconds, ask yourself if you noticed any of the following:
- Content. Text, images, or other content must be “King” (or “Queen”). Information rules in the information age. If you intend to inform, you should do that. If to display images, do that well.
- Navigation. Can you get to or from a Web page, from any other Web page? Is there ‘link rot’ (dead links)? Is there more than one way to move around a Web page?
- Interactivity. We live in an age of Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 (perhaps we’ll cover that in another article). Users expect a dynamic Web; one they can interact with, or even add to the content.
- Appearance. Do the aesthetics match the brand? Can you easily read the foreground colors (the text) over the background ones? Is the font too large, too small, or too ‘cursive’ to read?
- Technology. Too much or too little? If a website requires you to download a program to look at its content; will you? On the other hand, a little well-placed movement of pizazz is a good thing!