Is Your WebSite Designed Effectively?

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A recent study of 20 participants aged 22 to 29 (each accessing the Internet on average at least 2 hours a day, and each having at least four years of prior Internet experience) yielded 57 different variables that affect user judgments of a Web page, plus 10 clusters grouping the 57 variables that reflect the underlying mental structure of the user preferences.

In English:

If you want to design your website to have the greatest impact among twenty-somethings, then you might want to consider the following factors, as they reveal some interesting website surfing “facts” and variables that affect a user’s experience. Even if 22-29 isn’t your target market, chances are many of the variables would be ranked similarly by other age brackets as well.

User Preferences That Affect One’s Judgment Of A Website

#1 Information Layout

#2 Server Response Times

#3 Time to Load

#4 Download Time

#5 Speed

#6 Visual Groups

#7 Security

#8 Credible and Original Information

#9 Location of Information

#10 Privacy

#11 System Independent

#12 Timely Information

#13 Browser Independent

#14 Wait-Time Feedback

#15 Simple Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs)

#16 Updated Regularly

#17 Interactive

#18 Provide Search

#19 Grouping and Subheadings

#20 Length of an Article

#21 Minimized Scrolling

#22 Graphic File Size

#23 Innovative

#24 Clear Exits

#25 Navigation Support

#26 Font Size

#27 Simple Headlines and/or Titles

#28 Position in the Screen

#29 Printable Contents

#30 Back Button

#31 Free Service

#32 Simple Images

#33 Graphics

#34 Visual Design Cues

#35 Background Images

#36 Pictures Instead of Description

#37 Drop Down Menus

#38 Non-Frames

#39 Accurate Plain-Language Error Messages

#40 Frames

#41 Games

#42 Opening of New Browser Window

#43 Entertainment

#44 Standard Colors for Links

#45 Logo

#46 Animations

#47 Accessible for Users with Disabilities

#48 Graphics for Graphics and Text for Text

#49 Multiple Colors

#50 3-D Images

#51 Icons

#52 Banners

#53 Coordinated Audio and Video

#54 Movies

#55 Sudden Pop-Up Windows

#56 Songs

#57 Advertisements

There are other valuable lessons to be learned from A recent this study as well.

And, to top it all off, check out this cool visual depicting an Internet users’ typical eye movements across a website’s homepage. Woah!

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