In my experience one of the first things my web design clients always say is “I want to make a big impression. I want my home page to have lots of impact, big images and not too much text. " This is usually a mistake.
Whilst it's true that first impressions count, so do second impressions, third impressions and even fiftieth impressions. It's all very well having the large image-heavy home page or flash animation and making your big impression but what happens when the visitor comes back a second time? They've seen it so they skip it. Having to skip it every time becomes more of a problem for them than an asset for you. It will get on their nerves after a while, especially if they're using your site regularly. After a while they will look elsewhere.
Designing a website is not like designing a brochure. You don't need a fancy front cover. If you have one you could just be wasting your customers’ time.
If you want visitors to come back and use your site, don't go for lots of impact, go for quick access to information. Keep your site simple, make your links obvious and help them get to where they want to go quickly.
Getting returning visitors is the key to a successful web site no matter what its purpose. As a general principal, if the user got what they came for they will come back. If they got it quickly and easily even better. They may even recommend it.
Forget the big impression, you'll create a far better impression by meeting their needs and most importantly, they'll keep coming back.
Chris Smith works full time as a web developer specialising in custom designed sites for small or starter businesses. Please visit his site for more information. Cheap Web Design UK
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