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Discover how to create a user experience that embodies utility, ease of use, and efficiency by identifying what people want from websites, how they search for information, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this. In this course, author Chris Nodder shows how to merge engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design to create a website that meets the needs of your customer, and is simple, elegant, and engaging. The course shows how to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, balance advertising and content, and integrate video, audio, and other media. Other tutorials consider the landing page experience and elements like contact forms from the visitor's perspective.
No doubt a website with no graphics could look boring, it might turn people away. But that's not an excuse to just pile photos, videos and graphics onto every page without thinking about why you're doing it or what the consequences might be. Think about the purpose of adding every image you put on the site. Does it help tell a story or get across the concept that's the focus of your content? Also consider what benefit the items offers that couldn't be done with a simpler form. For instance, do you really need a video or would a still image provide just the same explanatory power? Believe it or not bandwidth is still an issue, even though most people now have fast Internet connections to their homes, they don't always have the same speed of connections on their mobile devices, and if you've ever tried connecting on a public WiFi network, you know how painfully slow that can be.
So don't go wild with masses of content on your pages. Page load time is just as important now as it ever was, and the more resources the page requires, the longer it's going to be before your visitors can start reading through and finding the information they want. Video, Audio, Live web Casts, Podcasts, Photo Galleries, even Animated Gifs can all have a place on your site, but only if they are used correctly. What I mean by correctly is whether you've used the right type of media to get your message across. For instance, a photo gallery might be a great way of showing off your product in a natural setting, but might not be so useful for weekly news summary.
The podcast might be better for the news summary, if you know that the large majority of your visitors are technically adept enough to manage podcasts, whereas video might be a better option, if you know that people will be coming to the site for the information, and if you have the type of content that goes well in video format. And animated gifs are making a comeback. They can be really useful to show things like how a product gets assembled or a fast indication of the steps in the process. In these situations the animated gifs act more like a slideshow than a mini movie. So, feel free to add multimedia content, but always ask yourself what's the purpose, what visitor need does this content serve, and is this the best format to meet that need?
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