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What Visitors Like and Dislike (revised)

Aug 17, 2007
Here's what Internet users and buyers say they like and dislike.

What Internet visitors like:

* They like pictures without sacrificing speed. A slow web site will cost you sales. Don't make visitors wait for graphics they're not interested in. If you want to illustrate your products with large images, provide thumbnails (small graphics) and let visitors decide if they want to click on them to view larger images that take time to load.

* They want easy and logical navigation. Viewers want to find what they're looking for without having to go through numerous pages or clicking on numerous links. Use terms for your navigation buttons and links they will recognize such as Home, Order, and Contact. Avoid using animation that doesn't tell anything about the content and takes a long time to load. Instead, provide plenty of links on your home page, giving an overview of your web site's content and choices.

* They like being in control and having multiple choices. Give them choices by providing many links.

* They like sites they can interact with. Web visitors like to be involved. Offer an ezine they can subscribe to and provide feedback forms. Bulletin boards (message boards) are a great way to get repeat traffic and visitor interaction. Involve your visitors by providing downloads, databases, search features, contests, quizzes, trivia tests, self-scoring tests, and animated movies that include interactive elements. Other interactive web tools include shopping carts, chat rooms, free classifieds, JavaScript, and search-engine submissions.

* They love content and freebies. Useful, valuable, and entertaining content gets visitors to your site, engages them, builds credibility, and converts them into buyers. Valuable content can include how-to articles, reports, tips, links to useful resources, and freebies.

* They love customer service and will return to sites that treat them well.

What Internet visitors dislike:

* They dislike long pages. If you have a long page, break up your copy into short, easy-to-read sections and use subheadings to highlight benefits. Break up text with white space, color, columns, lines, and graphics.

* They dislike drop-down menus. Newbies may not even know how to use drop-down menus.

* They don't like receiving error messages or their computer locking up. Be aware of programming errors when using Java or JavaScript and other features that may crash a user's computer.

* They don't like difficult-to-use web sites. When using sophisticated features, software, and programming, consider how people access your features. Test if the typical user can use your database and pull-down menus.

Follow these tips to make your web site user friendly. Make it easy for visitors to use your web site and they'll refer your site to their friends, return often to your site, and buy your products and services.
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