Three Visual Cues
1. Buttons – Use buttons on your website to cue people where to go next. Make buttons look like buttons which are usually rounded, beveled (look 3D-ish) and have a drop-shadow.
It’s also good to include text links in addition to these buttons for the visually impaired, low-tech browsers, and search engine spiders.
2. Site ID – This is the logo or name of your website which is expected to be in the upper left corner of each page. In addition to letting visitors know where they are, the Site ID also gives visitors confidence when they are on third party websites.
For example, put your Site ID on the top of the PayPal check out pages to give visitor confidence that they are still dealing with you as they complete the purchase.
3. Consistent Navigation – Whether on the left or across the top, keep your navigation (the main set of links) in the same place for each page. Moving it around, or varying the links will only confuse people.
I avoid drop down menus because they limit accessibility (e.g. won’t work on simpler cell phone browsers) and because they lead to more confusing navigation, “Hmmm, what’s behind door number 1?”, and “Uhhh, where was that page again?”
One Core Concept for Getting Action
Have an actionable item for each communication (e.g. page, email, video, etc.) such as:
- Click here to learn about this next
- Enter your info into this form to get that
- Or, do-this physical action in your real life now to accomplish something
Ideally this action leads visitors towards reaching their goals as well as growing a relationship with you.