Looking for ways to make your business website more effective? Knowing how to make your content appeal to every visitor on your website is a skill on its own, but here are a few guidelines that will help to make the journey easier.
It is important that the content on your website is presented in a way that is informative and engaging but not overwhelming. This can be a major organizational and design challenge.
Categorise your website’s viewers into three categories: Skimmers, Swimmers and Divers.
Each of these groups is willing to go progressively deeper and spend more time on your site. When designing your website you need to keep in mind on how to address each of their needs and online experiences.
Let’s try to understand what each audience type is looking for and think about opportunities to meet those needs.
Skimmers glide along the surface.
Skimmers just want to get in, be informed and get out as quickly as possible. They read headlines and use titles to guide themselves around your site only towards the information that they want.
Here are a few tips for the design process for skimmers:
Think about your most important information that viewers need. This can be your hours, location, phone number, admission prices or menu. You need to focus on this information and make it impossible to miss.
Make your headlines clear and concise. Remember to use different levels of headings and establish a clear hierarchy to make page structures easy to understand at a glance.
Include search functionality. If Skimmers can’t locate the information they want at a glance, a website search acts as a fallback.
What Skimmers want: Speed, Ease, Clarity and Brevity.
Swimmers splash around.
Swimmers have an interest but also a limited amount of time and energy that they will devote to your site. They are most likely looking for something specific but may stop if something catches their attention.
Here are a few tips for the design process for swimmers:
It is time to have a look at magazines. Editors love to find the most dramatic or controversial quotes in stories and make them large and colourful so that they will jump off the page and grab your attention. This is a typographic approach know as a “pull quote” or “call-out”.
Not everything can be front and centre. The most-used pages and information should only be one click away.
Feature related and relevant information. Your informational page can include your services, reviews or testimonials and links to recommended products.
What Swimmers want: Options, Simplicity, Efficiency and Possibility.
Divers jump in head first.
Divers will dig deep to get the full story. They will read most, if not all, of your copy and may come back looking for new additions.
Here are a few tips for the design process for divers:
You’ll need to start with a logical site map that organizes information in an intuitive way. Divers will get frustrated if the can’t make a mental map of your site while they are browsing.
Make your content clear when going ahead, so that Divers can easily resume their reading on a later stage.
Adding interactive elements such as videos, images or audio, can enhance their experience.