It is important for the end user to know intuitively where to click on a web site upon first visit. A clean layout is the first step to capturing the user’s attention, then compelling content that encourages him/her to read and then click. Sounds simple. Apparently it isn’t, evidenced by high “bounce rates” (that’s when people bounce in and bounce out…kind of like channel surfing through cable) unless your traffic is targeted to a specific audience that is expressly searching for your content.
One way for capturing ADD audiences faced with millions of choices everyday is embedding a video on the homepage that automatically plays. it could be a music video, a talking head, a news reel, a professor teaching a workshop – whatever displays your content quickly and efficiently. You can do this by adding “autoplay=1″ to your video code, for example:
<param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/xu4IynGLy80&hl=en&fs=1&autoplay=1“>
While this video is playing, the user’s peripheral vision will catch the text surrounding the player. This means the text should compliment and supplement the content of the video, adding context, further explanation, case studies and yes – a reason to purchase or support your product or service, and perhaps become a repeat visitor who will refer your web site to others via social networking buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc), which should also be featured on or near your video (click for more about creating a video).
When they click it goes to this content…
The Internet is quickly becoming a cable service with WAY more channels than the 300 or 400 you currently get on TV, so put on your director’s hat, and think of the films, TV shows, news reports and other content that capture your own attention. Then do a search on YouTube for the content that gets the most traffic. People go nuts over pets and babies doing cute things.
Comedy is another crowd pleaser (although it’s not always easy to achieve). Breaking news on your particular subject can also set you apart from the competition. Yes, we are at the point in history where EVERYONE in business must also be a media producer – UNLESS…you are the type of person who knows his/her strengths and would rather leave such creative endeavors to professionals like 4FX, a design and production firm with a proven track record and more ideas than they can keep up with!
Most web sites offer navigation tabs along the left hand side of a web page, along the top and the bottom.
Left side: Content subpages are usually listed here.
Top: Search, advertising links are usually featured here.
And what about the right hand side? This is up to you, but most Web 2.0 standards keep this section open for changing content, advertising banners, the video we mentioned earlier (if it is not featured in the center of the page).
Of course, you could totally ignore these standards and design your own, unique page, but keep in mind that most users have been trained to look at web sites with these particular design features, which makes it much easier for them to intuitively navigate your site.