Dysfunctional Website: Bad for Your Business Family
08.21.12 · Todd Gimlin
Third in a Series
Websites used to carry this sort of disclaimer: “Best viewed with so and so browser.” No longer. Because that’s discrimination. And that’s just wrong. Truth is, people are spoiled. They expect your site to work, regardless of how or where they’re viewing it. They’re just demanding that way.
How Does Your Site Measure Up?
Check your site against these criteria. Be honest now.
• Your website is optimized for multiple screen sizes – desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.
• Members of the media can easily find and download key information and photography about you.
• Your site can be updated internally with an easy-to-use CMS and it is, in fact, updated frequently.
• Your site loads quickly – that is, all the bells and whistles are done loading in less than five seconds.
The Multiple Platform World
Consider the typical web user these days. Oh wait. No such thing. We can, however, construct a hypothetical user, just for the sake of argument. Wakes up to the smart phone alarm, decides to check the Hong Kong index to help jar herself awake. Checks email on her iPad while waiting for the coffee to brew – checks a couple random websites. Gets on her latest-generation PC laptop for some serious browsing during the long rail commute. Works at a corporate-dictated old PC system all day.
Think she’s going to organize her searching according to who has a website compatible with her various web-access platforms? Right. Think she’ll switch platforms when she discovers your site doesn’t work on the one she’s using? Right again.
Invisibility: Good Superpower. Bad Strategy
If your site doesn’t function properly, people won’t be able to find you – or they’ll find you, get frustrated and leave. For good. Furthermore, you risk being invisible to search engines – which means you’re invisible, period.
In addition to ensuring that your site programming is visible to most platforms – we use 95 percent of all current platforms as a minimum criteria – here are a few other website functionality criteria to keep in mind.
• Keep your navigation intuitive, easy and logical.
• Don’t clutter it with too many call-outs and images.
• Put thought into site content beyond the homepage.
• Mind the detail. Because the devil really is in there.
• Check to make certain that all your links work.
• Don’t over-direct your visitors, keep it as simple.
• Test your site’s functionality on all formats and search engines.
Take our website scorecard test and see how your site stacks up.
Next week: Accessibility.