The habits of consumers on the web are not that different from that of those patronizing a physical store. Instead of picking up something that catches their attention or one which resembles the thing they are looking for, the web user clicks on it. If the page doesn’t meet their expectation, instead of putting the object down, they hit the back button and continue their search.
If you’re an online businessman, this is something you would like to avoid. And in doing so, you have to remember a few basic tips for creating a website with design and content that are likely to make your site visitors buy something instead of hit the back button and search somewhere else.
a. Web users welcome quality content and are prepared to compromise it with the site’s design. This is why web sites that don’t have a good design but have high-quality content have the most hits.
b. Web users don’t read the contents of a page but just scan through them. They would just search for fixed points that would guide them through the page.
c. Web users are intolerant and are looking for quick satisfaction. If a web page doesn’t meet the expectations of a user, then the designer botched his job. The users don’t need to use heavy mental processing to navigate through the site.
d. Web users don’t look for the fastest way to find the needed information. They also don’t check a web page in a linear fashion or following a sequence. They just choose the first rational option. As soon as they locate a link that seems likely to lead to what they are looking for, chances are, it will be clicked right away.
e. Web users go for intuition instead of read all the information on a webpage. The users really don’t care. If they find something that works, they stick to it. They don’t have to understand it.
f. Web users want control in their fingertips. Windows popping up unexpectedly are out. They want to be able to return to the site they have been before by hitting the “back” button. Links shouldn’t open in a new browser window because the “back” button doesn’t apply.
g. Web users usually don’t like to think deep. A web page should always be understandable without the need for explanation. The users shouldn’t have to decide consciously, considering the favorable and unfavorable choices or alternatives. By lowering the cognitive burden, web users easily take hold of the idea behind the system. People won’t use your site if they lose their way around it.
h. If you’re going to offer the users a type of service or implement, keep the requirements to a minimum. Don’t require them to fill out long forms for an account they may never use later. Let the users explore without coercing them to share private information.