Want to make sure your church website follows the principles of good church website design? Then stop coding that rotating Flash banner you think is cook and start learning how user-centric design has become a standard approach for successful websites with high conversion rates.
And in order to use the user-centric designs that make for a good church website experience, we first need to understand how users interact with web-sites, how they think and what are the basic patterns of usersâ€™ behavior. A good place to learn how this is via a recent Smashing Magazine article entitled “10 Principles Of Effective Web Design.”
In this article, the author asks and answers the question “How do users think?” by correctly asserting:
Basically, usersâ€™ habits on the Web arenâ€™t that different from customersâ€™ habits in a [bricks-and-mortar] store …
… Most users search for something interesting (or useful) and clickable; as soon as some promising candidates are found, users click. If the new page doesnâ€™t meet usersâ€™ expectations, the Back button is clicked and the search process is continued.
The reasonings for this point are simple issues of common sense:
- Users appreciate quality and credibility;
- Users donâ€™t read, they scan;
- Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification;
- Users donâ€™t make optimal choices;
- Users follow their intuition; and
- Users want to have control
The article expounds on each of the above points not only in word but in the deed of citing eye tracking scan paths of sample pages. The article doesn’t stop there, enumerating in detail 10 principles of good web design that we all can apply to our church and/or charity websites. The principles being:
- Donâ€™t make users think
- Donâ€™t squander usersâ€™ patience
- Manage to focus usersâ€™ attention
- Strive for feature exposure
- Make use of effective writing
- Strive for simplicity
- Donâ€™t be afraid of the white space
- Communicate effectively with a â€œvisible languageâ€
- Conventions are our friends
- Test early, test often
I’ve made similar points, only not as concise and well outline as the aforementioned article.
So why not read it, then come back here for some discussion and comments on how the above points apply to your particular circumstance.