To decide how you want your website layout to be first, identify the necessary content for your website. The goal is to have a clear, crisp presentation because viewers skim instead of read most content it is best to have information in a column fashion.
If the copy is too long you should assume that the viewer will not scroll too far at the bottom or the top.
Use Web 2.0 to create “eye catching graphics, strong visual metaphors, and clean, clear fonts for text.”
The goal is to take the viewer to the next step of the action you want them to take.Research shows that viewers eyes first land on the upper left of the page. Users usually look at the first few words of a headline. On news pages users tend to look at five headlines before clicking.
The KISS Method. Keep. It. Simple. Make it easy for the customer to navigate the site. Customers should be a maximum of three clicks away from the action they intend to do.
Develop a navigational structure. As pictured below.
Always leave “breadcrumbs” behind. This allows visitors to know where they are at all times.
Measuring and evaluating website effectiveness can be done in with Exploratory Research. Concept Testing. Prototyping, and Beta Testing. Exploratory Research is used to determine how customers want to use the site.
Concept Testing is used to refine design and navigation concepts and design on individual pages. Based on questionnaires asking the respondents about their difficulty performing tasks on the website.
Prototyping is designed to create page mock-ups without search bars and shopping carts. Beta Testing is putting the website on a server that does not have an internet address and allowing testers to use the website fully completed.
An example of a good web design is the OWN website by Oprah Winfrey. It is an interactive site that has a side bar (Breadcrumbs) for the home page and menu of all of the OWN Shows. The website is easy to navigate and the user can perform their action in less than 3 steps. The colors for the website correlate with the theme of the OWN logo and the sub groups fonts and colors don’t take away from the name of the website. The website includes graphics and pictures of the different shows. One of the intended actions of OWN is to create a community through their newsletter. That action is shown at the bottom of the page and is easily accessible.
Cite: Roberts, M.L., & Zahay, Debra (2013). Internet Marketing Integrating Online & Offline Strategies. Mason, OH : South-Western Cengage Learning.