Taking a lesson from other peoples sites
How to avoid running off a viewer by being " too " clever

All too often we get carried away with our own cleverness in an attempt to stand out from the billions of other web sites out there. And there are lots of ways to do that, but, for certain parts of your design, you should remember that people spend all their time on other sites, and come to expect a certain amount of continuity of design and layout on yours.

People are not there to learn a clever site plan. Things to avoid in your attempt to be one of a kind.

Clever words:

Calling your " about me" page, Fairy footprints is cute, but not helpful to the viewer looking for an about me page. Ditto for other generic pages: links/ resources, site map, terms of service, privacy policy, etc. Call these anything but what the viewer expects to see, and they will never be read, or worse make them upset with you, because they can't find them.

Clever navigation:

Having some spinning ball you have to stop to hit a link word is a neat bit of java, but most people don't come to your site to play, unless your a game site. KISS keep it simple simon, if it's not easily apparent how to get from point A to point B just by looking, in one quick scan, meaning it's one of several types of navigation they are used to, your viewer is history.

Clever layout:

Resist the temptation to show off your programming skills and have a fancy layout, it's counter productive. People tend to look in the same places for the same information, all the time, every time. Their eyes scan about, in the places they expect to find it. If it's not there, they will go back to other sites, where they don't have to think about it.

Clever wording:

Other than academic sites, where it's expected, get too complex with your language, and you get, bye bye, from the viewer. If they have to stop and look up the words your using in the dictionary, forget it. The same goes for words that only make sense for YOUR industry, IE:shop Jargon. You might know what they mean, but don't assume your viewer does.

Not Too Clever Sales pitch:

The over blown sales pitch. We have all seen it. And nothing will run a viewer away from your site faster than the frantic, " endless sales pitch ", buy buy buy, it will be bye bye all right, right out the door. People know a sales pitch when they see it and they typically resent it.

Remember they found your site, using keywords and those keywords should be what you sell or provide. So if they made it to your site, they are at least already marginally interested in buying, make it easy for them and they will. But if your site reads, like a radio ad sounds, you lost them, even if you might have made a sale.

Why ? Because you just insulted and annoyed them, to most veiwers opinion. Think about the last time you heard a radio ad, with its endless repeats of the company name, product , phone number and " buy one now ", as many times in 30 seconds as possible. It makes you want to throw something at the radio.

Well on a web site your viewer has an even easier answer to a visual version of it, leave and never come back.

More soon

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