|Make it clear.|
Many sites are confusing because the home page is too
cluttered or laid out in a funny way. Our current club
top page is a good example of an unclear page. All
text and people get bored. All graphics and people get
lost. A good page is laid out so visitors can find what
they are looking for in the first 30 seconds.
|Make it easy.|
Make things logical and self evident. You may think cute
nicknames for links makes sense, but unless you are
appealing to a very small audience (like yourself or
just those in your home), you need to make everything
logical. You want to create excitement, but not at the
risk of getting people lost.
|Make it fast.|
If you use lots of graphics, make sure you have
something for people to read while the page loads. Break
up information on multiple pages (like I do with these
lessons), to give visitor's brains a rest.
|Make it interesting.|
You are going to want to create a mood from the moment
people come to your top page. Make a deal with yourself
now that, whatever the mood is, it will not be boring.
|Design for return visits.|
You want people to keep coming back to your site,
bookmarking it, telling others about it - so plan for
them to do so. Even if you can only devote 15 minutes a
month to your site, that is enough to add in some news
and maybe a few digital photos. And make sure you tell
visitors how often you plan to update your site, so they
will know how often to return.
|Test it. Test it. Test it.|
I am going to begin repeating that at you like a mantra.
And I mean it. I do three checks of all pages before
posting that the week's lesson is live - one in Front
Page, one in my browser before it is uploaded and one
once it is uploaded. I look at every new and changed
page to make sure it all is correct. Visitors have
little patience for sites that don't work or have broken
links, so plan for testing time with every change or