leave your site and visit a competitor's site that works better for them. Too many clicks to
retrieve information results in lost sales.
Also, as you're thinking about your website design, graphics will play an important role
in achieving your website goals. Have you ever been at a restaurant looking over a menu,
and eyeballed the pictures of an entree, rather than reading all of the available options? I've
been known to point at a picture on a menu when the server asks,“What would you like?”
All I have to say is, “I want this.”
The same will hold true with your site. The pictures (graphics) that you design and use
will appeal to many of your users, and quite frankly if your site visitors are picture lovers
like me, you can sell your services without any words. How amazing is that? Make a sale
Conversely, you'll never want your customer to land on one of your pages that is made up
entirely of text for the very opposite reason. It's not appealing and frankly with the number
of opinions that are rolling around in their mind about your business before they become a
customer, you don't want them to have to work for it.
So while thinking about your layout, keep in mind that the top left corner is the most im-
portant part of any page, just like a school report or business document. We are taught to
read from left to right, top to bottom. This means that your logo and business name should
be at the top left, and remain at the top left, on every page.
The Web Medium
Once you have a good layout in mind and once the HTML code starts developing, you'll
want to provide opportunities for your customers to interact with your business. Add “e-
mail us” links. Add a “log in to my account” section. Install a “sign up for our newsletter”
application that gathers your customers' e-mail addresses and stores them for e-mail mar-
The web medium is different from print because you can interact with your customers in
this way. However, don't mistake a clean, elegant website design for pizzazz. Just because
you can make an animated jpeg with a dancing computer that also flies across the screen
doesn't mean that you should do it. Elegance and simplicity work much better. Too many
flashing lights, colors, drop-down boxes, and graphics will strain your customer's eyes.
Likewise it's best to avoid automatically playing any MP3 files, or sound files, that might
annoy or distract a customer upon visiting your website. Bear in mind that for some people
computer time is quiet time. You don't want to raise your customers' heart rate, hence