I recently came across a great article that gives 14 of the biggest mistakes you can make in web design.
The article makes sense and in my opinion is almost dead on.
The video that is linked to at the end of point number three is great. It is a really simple video made by a guy named Matt Cutts. He talks about search engine optimization versus end user optimization. It seems that there are a lot of SEO companies out there these days but not a lot of EUO (end user optimization) companies. I don’t even know if EUO is an acceptable acronym but i like it, so i’m going to use it
Kevin and I recently had the opportunity to sit down with some great people at a large business (roughly 900 employees) based in Michigan. The whole meeting was regarding a portion of their website dedicated to a new product they launched a few months ago. The website is setup to allow users to sign up for their service online saving the time and money of filling out paperwork and mailing it. We did a cursory evaluation and found there were a number of things about the site that were causing visitors to leave before completing the sign up process.
We were essentially doing an EUO evaluation. The traffic they were getting to the site was not overwhelming but with a conversion rate around 4 percent they are not reaching their potential. The whole point of EUO is to increase your conversion rate.
Simplifying web pages by reducing the amount of irrelevant content, organizing the navigation properly, standardizing the navigation, and presenting the information on the site in an organized and well thought out manner will start to increase your conversion rate.
An important part of EUO is testing. Without getting feedback from your end users you really can’t determine what to change and how to change it. We see a lot of websites that use industry specific words or phrases that are totally unfamiliar to end users. This is because no one took the time to test whether a person who has never been to the web site and has no knowledge of who the company is or what they do; can actually navigate the site and understand what it says.
As the world wide web grows i think we are going to start to see more and more EUO companies springing up.