Techstart Media Limited

Where Design Meets Technology

15 Ways to Make Your Website Better, Smarter, and More Beautiful

You hate your current website. Or maybe it just doesn’t work as well as it should. Or maybe nobody ever goes to it. There are a lot of ways your sites can fall short: scattered design, muddled messaging, bad or nonexistent mobile design, weak SEO, among other problems. It’s hard to do it all right. This session will take a look at the most common website problems and help you with practical solutions to make your sites smarter, more usable, and more effective.

  1. Why does your website exist? Websites aren’t meant to BE, not DO. Donate, Subscribe, Action steps…
  2. Know what you would “shout across the street.” Add a tagline to your header – clarify what your organization is about.
  3. Give visitors ONE obvious thing to do FIRST. Example:http://www.breakthebaghabit.co.uk
  4. Use less text. People only read about 20% of web text on a page. Save the long text for the inside pages.
  5. Tell stories. Example:http://shofco.org
  6. Stop guessing, start testing. Examples:http://usabilityhub.com,http://peek.usertesting.com
  7. Make navigation clear & easy. Err on the side of clarity. Less is more (5-6 items max). Example:http://macarthur.org– large organization with simple navigation
  8. Simplify. Learn to love white space! Examples:http://mailchimp.com,http://zendesk.com. Two fonts are enough – one serif and one sans-serif.
  9. Design for all screen sizes. Responsive web design – site conforms to the user’s screen size.
  10. Only use images that have a purpose = adding a human, emotional element to a page.
  11. Use (real) faces. Example:http://charitywater.org,http://care.org
  12. Kill the carousels. They don’t work, in fact they hide your content and slow down your website. Save carousels for photo slideshows NOT featured stories. first image gets the clicks and the next however many don’t
  13. Font size matters. Anything smaller than 16px will be hard for many readers. Also need good contrast – white is the best option for dark background. Examples:http://www.newyorker.com/
  14. Search must work. Some people will not go to the navigation bar first.
  15. Design for good SEO. Help Google understand your site with clear structure and hierarchy, headers, sub-headers and content. Create good content that people will link to!

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