Design

Tips for an effective website: Part 1

Grab their attention!

Grab their attention!

Recently I was asked what I do for a living and I told them I help make great websites. That led to the question “what makes a great website?” – which is a good question and one that made me think how best to break it down. I would argue that a website is great if it is able to do 4 things: Grab the users’ attention, generate some interest, create a desire and then lead the user to take some sort of action. Over the next few blog posts we’re going to go into detail explaining each of these 4 steps for an effective and functional website, starting with how to grab your user’s attention.

Getting your user’s attention is the most important job your website has; if you can’t get their attention they’re not going to stick around and you lose the opportunity to sell or tell. This is particlarly important when you consider the average user takes 3 seconds to decide if they’re going to leave your website or not. So not only does your website need to grab attention but it needs to do it quickly.

This is a big aspect of Web Design – after all, everyone wants their website to get noticed. There are a couple of techniques we can use to grab a user’s attention, here they are:

Large & catchy heading

Large, bold headings is an great way to grab people’s attention. Choose a nice font and make a big statement (and keep it short!). The eye will be drawn to the heading and you’ve imediately got their attention. Voila!

Just be sure to put some thought into the wording of the text to help it be extra catchy. Depending who the website is aimed at, this can be a good opportunity to inject some playfulness and personality into the website.

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Interaction & animation

Enticing the user to engage with your website means you will immediately have their attention. Creating a website that interacts with the user or responds to the user’s mouse movements helps with this also.

Incorporating animation can also be an effective way of grabbing the user’s attention. Just don’t go overboard and confuse the user or let it get in the way of the actual content of the website.

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Great Photography

Photography is an important part of creating a great website. Try and choose photos that not only look awesome but help to show off something about your company. Photos with people in them are even better as user’s eyes are drawn to faces (especially if the person is the photo is making eye contact).

If you don’t have any good photographs to use you can purchase stock photography.

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Once you have grabbed your user’s attention, you need to actually do something with it. In our next blog post we will cover generating interest.

But I’m keen to hear your thoughts. Have you seen any good examples of websites that quickly grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments below.

* This post is adapted from an article I originally wrote while working at Greenhouse Creative

About andy

Andy is the Membership and Ministry Pastor at Salt Church in Wollongong. He loves Jesus and thinking through strategies and ideas to help more people meet Jesus and grow as a disciple.
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