A great website layout will deliver an intuitive, effective and enjoyable experience. Layouts are the foundation of presenting information clearly, attracting attention to the right parts and guiding people to their goals. This article focuses on layouts and how to help users interpret them correctly and positively as they scan the page. This guidance can be used throughout the website development process.
If your website contains a large amount of content that can be grouped in a variety of ways, Information Architecture (IA) design can be challenging. It can be difficult to devise one single structure that is flexible enough to meet the different priorities people hold and therefore the range of ways people want to browse. Faceted navigation can provide a valuable solution, as demonstrated by its quickly growing popularity on many sites, such as eBay and Amazon.
The web provides masses of opportunities to facilitate engagement, social interaction, communication and community building but which ones are relevant for your site? Despite rumours of ‘facebook fatigue’ social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo still attract millions of visitors a month and time spent using Twitter is on the increase (complete.com). More and more sites are integrating their own social features or linking into the functionality on these sites. Some functionality can be relatively simple to incorporate, such as ‘share this’ links. Others such as forums can require considerable planning and development. Whatever the method adopted the aim is to increase the ‘fun’ and interactive impact of your site, to both draw the user in and encourage them to return. So…is it worth jumping on the bandwagon?