IT, New Media & Software

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 15:08

First impressions count - Web development

{pp}We are taught “don’t judge a book by its cover” yet it is human nature to decide within moments whether we like something or not.
Whether it is a person you have just met or a new restaurant – often we do judge a book by its cover.

The same goes for your representation in the online space - your website. As soon as a new visitor lands on your website, they will decide whether they like it or not based on what they see. Perhaps they will stay on your website for a while in the hope of finding the content they are looking for, but if they don’t find it quickly, they’re bound to look elsewhere. For this reason, it is very important to think about what visitors would like to gain or take away from your website.

Nando’s website is a good example of a pretty but impractical website. Nando’s is a fast-food restaurant, so one can assume that the main reason why someone would visit the Nando’s site is to look at their online menu. Not only does Nando’s not have a menu listed on the site, but the website is built in flash and the navigation is atrocious. So really, other than being visually attractive, there is not much use for the website.

We have previously covered usability and design factors that influence user perception in “How important is your website’s target audience?” and Web development pitfalls to avoid Part One and Part Two.

For actual examples of what not to do, here is the world’s worst designed website and a list of 20 very badly designed websites.

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