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Saturday, February 02, 2008

The theme for the Internet Retailer Web Design Conference
08 was all about Designing Web Sites That Sizzle and Sell!

If you didn’t read our first post on the conference then

you might want to read:

Hello From Miami Internet Retail Conference!

Let’s pick up where we left off by discussing some of the
great speakers at the conference!

Jennifer Bailey, Usability Services Manager from ForeSee Results, provided
an excellent speech on Usability Principles. The focus of the speech was
following the rules to keep customers in mind. For instance, most
customers are used to seeing navigation of the website on the left. Straying
away from having your navigation on the left side of your website could hurt
your conversion rates. Ms. Bailey suggests breaking the “rules” only when there
is a compelling benefit. She also stated that there usually is no real
compelling benefit when it comes right down to it.

Ms. Bailey suggests:

  • Make it easy for customers to hone in on and locate
    products and content of interest.

  • Don’t make customers give up because it is “too
    difficult” to get around

  • Give your customers adequate control as they browse
    and shop

  • Put critical info above the fold (add to cart button)

  • People scan left to right. Place cross-sells secondary
    in the shopping cart. You don’t want to confuse people and lose the sale.

  • Huge links at the bottom of the website; this does not
    enhance the user experience. Neither does tons of SEO text.

  • Think about your customers and write for them. If you
    need help, join our Mentor Program for lessons on copyrighting for
    your website.

  • Group personalization links together

  • Increase the size of your search box so that customers
    can see what they are typing in as well as allowing your customers to feel
    that they can add more text

  • Make sure you have a link to the shopping cart at the
    top of your webpage.

  • Do not put an add to cart button next to a check out
    button on an item page. This causes confusion for your customers. Are they
    supposed to add to cart or check out?

  • Show a progress indicator as your customers go through
    the check out process. This way they know ahead of time how much work is
    expected out of them. Let them know how many steps they will have.

  • The biggest, never make it mandatory for customers to
    “register” in order to check out. Customers want options.

Another phenomenal speaker was Shari Thurow ,Founder and SEO Director of
Omni Marketing Interactive. She has a wonderful book called; "Search Engine Visibility"
and she offered the following tips:


  • Meet your users expectations

    • Make things that are “clickable” look “clickable”.
      Make sure that things that are not “clickable” do not look like they
      should be clicked on. This will cause distrust in your website.

    • Appropriate labels with icons

    • Allow site visitors to turn on/off rich media

    • Provide a sense of place

    • Validate the “scent of information”

  • Do not assume site visitors want rich media

  • Beware of rich medias impact on your search engine

  • The ease with which users are able to find desired
    information BEFORE they view a page and while they are viewing a web page
    will provide:

    • Effectiveness

    • Learnability

    • Efficiency

    • Error prevention

    • User satisfaction

I will be back with more information! Stay tuned!

by: Shawna Seigel

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