You’ve just been handed the reigns to your new website. Awesome. Now what do you intend to do with it?
The content of your website will depend greatly on on the purpose or goals. The site might exist to showcase your product or simply provide important information about your organisation or business. But does the content, or will it, support the goals of your website?
If your business sold a product would you feature that product on the homepage? Of course you would, but why? Because the goal of your website is probably to showcase your amazing product and just as importantly it’s what your customer visiting the site would expect.
That’s fine, but what if the customer had questions about the product? Well you would probably have your contact information somewhere where your website user would expect to find it. Imagine yourself as a customer, where would you expect to find contact information if it’s not ‘front and centre’ on a website?
I personally, more often than not, would expect to find a link to a contact section or page in the main navigation menu of a website. OR I would look right down the bottom of a web page and expect to see contact information listed right there, or at the very least a link to the information. These are my expectations as a web user. If I was unable to find the contact information of a business where I expected it to be on their website, that business has probably just lost a customer.
I recently visited a site looking for information about an upcoming local event. I knew what day it was being held but I wanted to find out what time it started and how much tickets cost. I did what anyone else might do, I Googled the event, found the web page for the event and voila – not a single piece of the information I was looking for! My expectations as a web user were not met. I did find the information in the end, but I had to download a poster for the event and trawl through it to find what I was looking for.
Everybody who uses the internet has expectations. As web designers and developers we risk frustrating users and losing them and their business if we don’t consider these expectations and create usable navigation elements and consistent page structures. Website owners and managers have the equally important task of ensuring that all the content they choose to have on their website is considered with the intention of supporting and meeting user expectations.