Monday, September 8, 2014

microISV Web Pages
Get Scanned, Not Read

Few website visitors will take the time to read every word on your site. So says Steve Krug, the author of the book "Don't Make Me Think." microISVs should design their web pages for both scanning and for reading.

Krug discusses five design principles that will help business people - including software developers - sell more of their products and services:

(1) Show prospects your page's structure.

Give your website visitors a visual tree of each page's structure. Use headers to define the structure and flow of each web page. Group things together that belong together. The directory tree structure that is second nature to most microISVs is intuitive for non-developers, too. Use it.

(2) Take advantage of OS conventions.

Most of your website visitors understand website navigation conventions under Windows, OS X, or some other operating system. Take advantage of this knowledge. Make your website "standard" so most visitors will know immediately how to navigate it.

Krug says that it's okay to innovate when you have a really good idea. Absent a blockbuster navigation innovation, however, follow standard conventions and take delight in your prospects' knowledge about how to navigate your site.

(3) Divide pages into logical sections.

Before you start writing the text for any web page, lay out a logical design that will help prospects make a buying decision. Create a separate path to lead each group of targeted prospects to purchase your application.

(4) Make your hyperlinks obvious.

Don't make your prospects guess which objects change on mouse-over. Use bold, italics, and color for emphasis. Use underlining for links.

(5) Eliminate distractions.

Keep your text short and crisp. Use images to augment your sales message.

Stop designing web pages that demonstrate how well you understand the latest web technology. Start designing web pages that nudge prospects to buy your software.

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