Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video What causes people to leave sites?, part of User Experience for Web Designers.
- Just like there are things that help people decide to stay on your site, there are also things that make them quickly leave. It's not hard to work out what these things are. You've probably been frustrated with them yourself in the past. The biggest issues are things that stop visitors from finding the information they're looking for. It's amazing how many sites hide the information that visitors want to find. The hiding happens in several ways. One is using nonsensical or technical product names in navigation. Who knows the difference between an XY-200 and an XY-300, for example? Another is using puns or teases in your link text so that visitors don't know what they'll get if they click through.
Another way to hide information is by using technical jargon instead of plain language. Remember, even if you're running a site for specialists in a particular field, those specialists all start off as newbies at some point. If you present visitors with a wall of text, they won't be able to quickly scan it and work out how relevant it is. If instead you split it up with headings, subheadings and bullet points, you help people to quickly read through the important parts to see if they're where they need to be. Another big turnoff that users report is overly distracting advertising. This is obviously a big tradeoff for you as a site designer.
On the one hand, you might want to make money from the content you produced. On the other, you need to ensure that people stay around on the site long enough to create the ad impressions you need. The balance will be different depending upon what kind of site you have. Remember, your visitors are looking for information. The content you give them needs to make sense to them, not just to you. They may not have the same level of knowledge about the topics you cover, or the same level of interest in them as you do. You need to make sure that your content speaks clearly to people right from the beginning. The Back button is only one click away, and you don't often get a second chance.
User experience expert Chris Nodder teaches
- What people want from websites, how they search for information, how they read online, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this research
- How to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, how to integrate video, audio, and other media, and when to consider interactive rather than static content
- How to look at your site's homepage, forms, product pages, and content through the eyes of users to build a site that better meets their needs
- How to balance site content with advertising
There are never enough great interfaces in the world. Take this easy introduction to start making wonderful online experiences for your own users.
- Building a site visitors will like
- Using single, consistent, and standard design principles
- Creating good menus
- Working with site maps
- Adding search to a site
- Arranging content in a layout
- Writing for the web
- Creating category pages and landing pages
- Designing product pages and forms
- Using media and interactive content
- Balancing ads and content