Brain Waves Blog

Answering Your User's Questions

Author: Webmastermind Team, Published: 2009-7-22

Answering Your User's Questions

When he or she lands on each page, a user will have a variety of questions that they ask before they decide to search further into the site. With as little as 10 seconds to answer these questions, it is important to try and answer those questions as quickly as possible before the user rejects your site and moves on to your competitors.

QUESTION #1: IS THIS FOR ME?
Unless you're offering information of distinct general interest, your users will have a specific goal when they arrive on one of your webpages and will make a snap judgement to determine how successful they will be when browsing the page.

Suggested Actions:

  • Avoid densely packed content. Keep information under 500 words (and 300 words where possible). Encourage your designer to use adequate line-spacing.
  • Use bullet points for key information to enable users to scan much of the information.


QUESTION #2: WHAT CAN I DO HERE?
Users will quickly seek to learn whether they are able to purchase products from the site, whether the site may hold information about a topic that is of interest to them or whether the site is a portal through to the site they are looking for.

Suggested Actions:

  • Enable users to exercise their right to leave. Do not try to trap users on your site.
  • If you have a lot of information, provide a Search facility - a large proportion will prefer this option to browsing through your site.
  • Keep navigation bold and simple. Try to stick to one navigation bar for the entire site.
  • Be clear. Avoid abstract or metaphorical terms in navigation. For example, "Support" can mean “technical assistance”, “become a volunteer” or “make a donation” (to name but a few). Use instructive terms such as "Helpdesk", "Get Involved" or "Donate Now" respectively.


QUESTION #3: DO I TRUST THIS ORGANISATION?
This is where your companies reputation is put to task. In this day and age, low quality design or excessive, disreputable advertisements (no matter how lucrative) will begin to eat away at your transactions.

Suggested Actions:

  • Invest in good design.
  • Avoid advertising less-reputable services. Refuse to consider any banner that flashes or makes a noise (studies show that these don't work anyway!)
  • Ensure that you are clear regarding the security of online transactions but don't push too hard.


QUESTION #4: WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
Once your user has decided that they are happy with your site, they'll want to know how they can move quickly to complete their identified tasks.

Suggested Actions:

  • Make key facilities (such as Baskets, Checkouts or Searches) clearly visible from every page.




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