As experienced web developers, we know that the heart of a great website is found in the user experience– the satisfaction that your visitors receive when navigating through the pages on your website. One of the major parts of fulfilling a holistic user experience is the readability of the content on each webpage. It is crucial that the language and visual appearance of the content is easily digestible. If a user cannot comprehend what your organization is trying to communicate, it is not as effective, which can decrease traffic and in the end, lead to a loss in revenue. If you are unsure if your website’s content is readable or not, here are three easy tips to use:
Posted on Dec 22, 2012 by John Wagner
Posted on Oct 17, 2012 by James Trumbly
How long do you have to snag your reader’s attention before you lose them? Say it with me: ten seconds or less. We’ve had this drilled into our heads, and great designers know what keeps people reading and what doesn’t. But what hasn’t been learned nearly so well is that your customer’s online attention is not only short, but also very narrow.
Usability guru, Jack Nielson, explains in a recent Alertbox Column that most users focus only on what interests them or what they expect will give them the answers that they need while ignoring the other content. Known as “Tunnel Vision,” this phenomenon can make the difference between click-throughs and deleted messages.
Let’s consider an example. You design a newsletter advertising your website’s 20 percent off sale. You include a headline, an image, a block of text that includes a coupon code, and a call to action that says “Shop Now.” Nielson’s usability research suggests that if you haven’t stated the coupon code in the headline or included it as part of the call to action, many subscribers won’t see it. It’s a phenomenon similar to banner blindness, where readers ignore portions of the screen that they think aren’t essential to the overall message. If the coupon code is necessary in order to receive the savings, you’ll need to follow a few design tips in order to keep it within your subscribers’ field of vision.
- Put important elements near each other.
If your image shows sale items and information, try putting the coupon code within the image or as the image caption. If subscribers must read through a block of text in order to find the coupon code, they may miss it altogether.
- Include essential info in the link.
People tend to focus on click-able elements within an email design. Your call to action button and any nearby links should contain the essential information you’re trying to communicate. So instead of using a call to action that says “Shop Now,” try “Save 20% with coupon code FALL2012.”
- Test with actual users.
Designers have difficulty recognizing usability problems with their designs because they already know where the important information is and their eyes gravitate toward it. They might not recognize where tunnel vision might occur for the average subscriber. Creating simple A/B split tests can point out problems that keep your readers from noticing the important stuff amongst everything else.
Tunnel vision means that users often don’t see things that are right in front of them. By grouping important elements together and putting essential information where readers tend to look anyway, you can boost your click-through rates and ultimately, your conversions.
Posted on Oct 04, 2012 by Stacey Donelan
For those of you who don’t know, WordPress is an open source blogging tool and a dynamic content management system (CMS). Actually, WordPress is currently the most popular blogging platform in use on the Internet. And what do you know, WordPress is what we currently operate on here at HMG Creative. For those of you not so familiar with the application, I will provide you with a quick tutorial that will explore and teach you about the ins and outs of WordPress.
The first step, just like any other online management system, is to login. To do so, add the extension /wp-admin to the end of your website URL.
For example: http://www.hmgcreative.com/blog/wp-admin
Now that you are entered as an administrator, your options are endless. Well—maybe not endless, but there are a lot of functions to choose from. So let’s start with a blog.
Creating a New Blog Post
You will see the Dashboard on the left side of the page. To create a new entry, click “Posts” and choose “Add New.”
Once you have your new workspace you are free to do the following:
- Title It: What’s a story without a title anyhow?
- Add Content: This is just like working with Word or any other similar software. Just type away!
- Pictures & Media: If you would like to add something to spice up your post, click on the “Upload/Insert” media icon.
- Insert a Hyperlink: Always helpful when you are making references. If you’d like this link to open in a new window, be sure to check that box!
- Categories: Choose or add a custom category based on the topic of the post.
- Add Tags: This will allow readers to track the key words found in your post.
You also have the ability to:
- View it in HTML by choosing that tab which is located at the upper-right corner of the text box. If you don’t understand HTML coding stay away from this feature.
- Add a title and description in the All-in-One SEO Pack.
Publishing Your Post
The time has come and your masterpiece is now ready for other eyes to see. So now you must choose, should I publish now and be done with it, should I save it as a draft and have a co-worker proof my work OR should I schedule a time to publish it in the future? Although this is completely your decision, there are many online studies of the prime times to publish articles, post blogs, tweet, send emails, etc. so be sure to check those out!
The whole point of a blog is for people around the Web space to learn and interact with one another. In order to interact, most users will post their comments on other blogs. However, WordPress does not allow a comment to be seen unless it is approved by you. In order to decide if this comment is worthy for your blog, go back to the Dashboard panel and click on “Comments.”
Here you will be able to see who and what has been posted. You are then able to approve or ignore the comment. You will see these options when you hover over the text.
Editing a Web Page
To do this, head back over to the Dashboard panel. Choose “Pages,” and then click “All Pages.”
You will see the option to edit the page when you hover over a row. Once you choose to edit, you are presented with the same options as you were earlier with a blog post. However, it is different in the fact that it will stay in the same place and will show up in your site navigation (in most cases).
From here, you’ll do the same as you did when you created your new blog post:
- Add a page title
- Edit the body content
- Add images and other media
- View in HTML format
- Edit title and the description of the All-in-One SEO Pack
- Publish, save as a draft or schedule your publishing date
Adding Pages to the Navigation
To begin, select “Appearance” on the Dashboard menu, then choose “Menus.”
You will then select the page that you would like to add in the “Pages” section and press the “Add to Menu” button. You are able to rearrange the order of the navigation by dragging and dropping the buttons in the general navigation area. Once you are finished, save your changes by pressing the “Save Menu” option.
Adding a New User
On the Dashboard bar, under “Users,” select “Add New.”
- Fill out the new user form fields.
- You will then be given the following options to assign a role to the new user:
1. Subscriber: Can read comments/comment/receive newsletters, etc. BUT cannot create regular site content
2. Administrator: Has access to all the administration features.
3. Editor: Can publish posts, manage posts, as well as manage other people’s posts, etc.
4. Author: Can publish and manage their own posts and are able to upload files.
5. Contributor: Can write and manage their posts but cannot publish posts or upload media files.
- Once you have done the above, save your changes by pressing the “Add New User” option.
Before no time, you will be an expert at using WordPress. All it takes is a little practice and all of the functions will become second nature. Feel free to leave a comment or send us a tweet @hmgcreative with any questions, concerns or maybe even a few of your own tips to share!