Oudated and Unappealing

fisicx

Moderator
Business Listing
Sep 12, 2006
35,562
10,772
Aldershot
www.aerin.co.uk
On a phone it actually looks great because you want it as minimal as possible. And the text is the right size. But on a PC it needs some more attention. I don't have a tablet to hand at the moment.
Can't make it smaller as this will add too many words to the line - I'm at the upper limit as it is for good readability. Any bigger and will start to look like a ladybird book.

The font size is the browser default. I prefer to leave it like this as it won't override local settings.
 
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UKSBD

Moderator
  • Business Listing
    OK....

    So your suggestion is?

    Something more like the Design Advice page as the homepage
    but rather than the 20 links the 4 main links.

    Ie. Building the site, layout, SEO, General Advice pages (not necessarily with those headings though)
     
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    The minimal design works well, because it keeps the focus on the copy.

    However, it's not clear who the website's for. The headline could be the name of your company. And a "testimonials" tab suggests you're selling your services in an overt way, whereas the banner says "Help, advice and consultation - getting the best out of your website".

    The second part of the banner copy is ambiguous. Do you get the best out of my website? Or do you help me to get the best out of my website? This sentence – "The following guides should help you with many aspects of your website." – tells me, but it's buried in paragraph 3. I'd test using that sentence as a replacement for: "Some help and advice on effective web design", which is just repeating the headline.

    And also testing "A Guide to Effective Web Design" as a headline, so users know exactly what to expect from the site. Oh, and also testing changing "testimonials" to "reviews". Testimonials sound biased, reviews sound more neutral (ie trustworthy).

    And from a personal perspective – it reminds me more like an e-book than an advice website. If I was a website owner needing help I can easily imagine downloading it after landing on a designer's site and being very impressed.
     
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    fisicx

    Moderator
    Business Listing
    Sep 12, 2006
    35,562
    10,772
    Aldershot
    www.aerin.co.uk
    It's been a week and a few days without UKBF visitors from this thread and the results are in.

    Dropping the sidebar has made no difference whatsoever. Search results, bounce and leads have remained about the same.

    I did try @UKSBD's suggestion and it didn't work at all. People like the current homepage.

    I've fiddled with the header wording and it makes very little difference. People don't care what's up there, all they care about is the content.

    So I'm going to leave the structure as it is and spend some time updating the core pages and internal linking.

    All I can suggest to everyone else is: don't be complacent. People are using different devices these days and that means they browse differently. Sidebars are going - it might take a while yet but if you rely on a sidebar for key information then you will lose potential leads (because they use phones and tablets and the sidebar is now often below the main content).

    Across a range of sites I manage over 60% use a mobile device. And that figure would be higher if one site wasn't used exclusively on interactive whiteboards in schools.
     
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    Richard Moore

    Legacy Full Member
    Nov 14, 2009
    182
    56
    www.easify.co.uk
    Good advice fisicx - thanks for sharing your results.

    On the sites I manage I get more like 80% desktop and 20% mobile. The device type is going to be influenced by the type of visitor that you attract, some sites will be more likely to be visited on a mobile, others on a desktop device.

    Definitely don't be complacent, but there's no reason not to build for both platforms these days. A site should work well on small screen and large screen.

    We use bootstrap based themes nowadays, and the transition from desktop mobile is (mostly) seamless.
     
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    fisicx

    Moderator
    Business Listing
    Sep 12, 2006
    35,562
    10,772
    Aldershot
    www.aerin.co.uk
    Indeed, but it's the sidebar that will be the Achilles heel in the future. Unless it's visible when you land on the page it becomes worthless. In the same way the hamburger menu is an easy shortcut for small screens but has a poor UX. A well designed navigation system can be easily visible at all times - but people don't design properly, they build a site they find easy to use which is often not so easy for the first time visitors.
     
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