Think about the last time you went online to find something out. Did you end up finding the information that you were after? How long were you looking? Did it frustrate you or was it a simple search?
As an information provider (everyone with a website) you need to be able to provide the information in such a way as it is easily accessible to your visitors.
Even if the information that you are providing on your website is your contact details or opening hours then it needs to be easily accessible. Today’s lifestyles mean that people are often time poor and will not tolerate spending too long on a search. You simply must not turn them off and alienate them because their search is taking too long.
Think back to the last search that you did. Did you find the information you needed easily or did you have to navigate through pages of irrelevant details?
While the “irrelevant details” may not always be irrelevant, if the searcher is after specific information then you can bet your booties that it is at this time. And if they do get frustrated you can bet that they will also leave your site and potentially turn to your competition. You know … the ones with the super-slick-easy-to-navigate-and-find-what-they-need site.
A way to counter a prolonged search is to present your information in a sort of ‘chapter’ format. Where each ‘chapter’ is a separate page of the site, with clear headings, sub-headings and short-n-sweet paragraphs. Oh and make your typography easy to read too.
Nobody reads the whole encyclopaedia to find out the information contained in a single entry. But they do go back again if they found it easy to use the first time.
Stuck for ideas? Have a look online at similar sites and see what they are doing. What works for them and what doesn’t?
Are you stuck? Let me know… I may be able to help… You can contact me here.