When developing your site, you should never lose sight of the fact that Internet users are lazy. Just as Web surfers decide whether they like your site in under a second, if they cannot figure out its purpose, cannot figure out their way around, or have to register to view your content, the chances are they will just leave.
You may be the most energetic and inquisitive person in the ‘offline world’, but something strange happens when we go online. We become impatient and lazy. We curse slow load times, we hate having to register our details, and we hate inconsistent navigation and other usability mistakes.
Cater for lazy Web users
You can cater for the new personalities people adopt when in the online world by following these tips:
- Optimise your images and pages to reduce load times.
- Ensure your hosting service is reliable – if your site is unreliable, people are likely to leave your site and never return.
- Reduce the need for registration wherever possible. If you have a blog, enable comments without forcing a user to register. If you have a forum, allow users to view posts without forcing them to register.
- Place a contact form on your site – having to load up an email application as well as making the effort to write to you is something the lazy web user is loathe to do!
- When people contact you, consider the amount of effort that person went to when writing your response. You should make even more effort to address all their queries and concerns – they certainly don’t want to have to email you again!
- Keep your navigation consistent – a confused surfer is a lost surfer.
- Reduce the number of clicks needed to reach each section of your site. I would say that users should be able to reach any section of your site in no more than three clicks.
These are just a few ideas I feel you should employ in order to keep even the laziest visitor to your site happy. Have you used any of these on your site? What steps have you taken to cater for lazy Web users? Do you think I have missed any important points? Let me know by leaving a comment below!