A nice, gorgeous-looking web site which has no design or navigation intelligence is a like handsome man with no brains. It may be nice to look at him but anyone would rapidly get bored with such a partner. Same thing happens on the web. While many strive to build super-good-looking web sites, only few really understand the strategic value of building highly navigable and easy to understand web sites. Why? Because we have not yet learned to think with the eyes and heart of our future readers and fans, and we unconsciously keep pushing things, as if such readers could be molded to appreciate, like and read what we want.
Photo credit: Stockphoto4u
Happily for us, as me and you are also readers and users of other people’s sites, this is a good thing. A web site is not like a television channel and you, the web publisher, cannot shove down your readers’ throat whatever you think is great. I, the reader, am now the one in control. One stupid move from you, the web publisher, and in a fraction of a second I can be out of your site.
In this user-centered light, how can you build a website that really meets your readers where they are and allows them to easily and rapidly discover all of the value you have to offer?
It goes without saying that the number one key strategy to make your web site communicate effectively its focus and key offerings, is to make its home and internal pages strategically designed to offer such unobstructed access with the minimum effort.
Achieving this goal involves two basic steps:
- Navigation: Designing content navigation in a way that allows readers to navigate and discover your high-value content in the easiest way possible, by always having relevant key content suggestions options available in front of their eyes.
- Search: Making the ability to search and FIND specific content a key requirement on your site. This involves a correct use of tags and categories, a savvy placement, a bit of SEO and an intelligent use of search engines.
In the in-depth analysis that follows, Stijn Debrouwere explores in great detail how to leverage the content search and navigation potential to best serve the needs of your audience. Though this report was originally conceived with news sites in mind, the points it makes and the strategies it suggest are applicable to most any web site wanting to provide high value to its readers. Leer más “Content Navigation And Search: How To Facilitate Online Content Exploration”