A surprisingly high number of websites are visually unappealing or make it difficult for the visitor to navigate to the information they want. Other sites look great and are easy to navigate but are let down by poor content.

We offer website ‘user experience’ reviews to help you address such issues. We will browse your site from a new visitor’s perspective, identifying any issues that might make the site less than pleasurable and useful to visit, and will send you a written report with our findings and recommendations.

The fixed-fee critique includes paying attention to the following elements:

Appearance

Does anything about the appearance of the site make it visually unappealing?

Is the type size big enough?

Is your chosen font easy to read?

Colour: are you either blinding your visitors with garish, distracting colours or boring them by using too little colour?

In short: If your site were a magazine, would its appearance make me want to pick it up off the newsagent’s shelf and carry on reading it?

Imagery

Are the pictures used good quality? (especially images of products you are selling)

Are they relevant?

Is there caption information to make clear what the images are of?

Have you included copyright credits?

Would your site benefit from having video or audio embedded?

Navigation

Have you included pages for all the categories visitors will expect to find? (About, Contact, Services/Products and Testimonials are probably vital to all websites but there might be others relevant to your type of business). 

Is there an option to return to the Home page from all the other pages? Visitors must be able to ‘get back to the beginning’ at any time.

If you are directly selling anything via the website, how easy have you made it to complete the purchasing process?

Links: Do links open in new windows (as opposed to opening in the existing window, taking the reader away from the site – perhaps permanently?

Have you provided links to any social networking media that you use – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example?

Could the site benefit from links to additional, related sources of information?

In short, have you made it easy, fast and intuitive for visitors to obtain all the information they might wish to obtain before considering doing business with you?

Content

Is the writing style appropriate to your target market? For instance, does it talk down to an educated readership by being too ‘simple’, or confuse an uneducated readership with its complexity?

Are there spelling errors or grammatical mistakes anywhere in the content? If visitors can see that you are sloppy and lacking in attention to detail in terms of your website, they will inevitably worry that you are equally sloppy when it comes to dealing with customers.

Is your content genuinely interesting? Does it add to the reader’s sum of knowledge and understanding of your business? Or is it just irrelevant waffle thrown in to make the site look busy?

Have you provided options for your customers to pay you online, if appropriate?

About Us: Does the About page give enough detail for visitors to feel they understand your business’s purpose and activities? Have you included some form of historical information about your business? (Visitors can feel empathy with a ‘story’ and can be reassured by the idea that a business has heritage.)

Have you introduced the key personalities in the business? Do visitors know who does what, from their biogs and photos?

Does the Contacts option actually make it easy to contact the company? (Are you placing obstacles in visitors’ way, for instance, by forcing them to fill out a form when a simple phone number would suffice?)

Do the Products or Services pages explain fully yet concisely what you do?

Do you have a facility allowing visitors to leave comments (if appropriate)?

Has your content been over-SEOd? Including keywords is great, but over-do it by repeating words over and over, and readers will become cynical and bored.

Have you included testimonials (and can you prove, if asked, that they are genuine?)

In short: Have you successfully conveyed your business’s USP? Do visitors understand why they should do business with you, and do they feel confident enough to do so?

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