Navigation, Style and Content

What are the keys to a good website? I think there are 3 main things. I have created this list from many years (6) spent reviewing websites.

Navigation, style and content. You can adapt that to NSC, or not. Not works for me, I’m not even sure how to say that.

Anyway, navigation is probably the most under rated website building thing. But, if people can’t find your content… what’s the point? Navigation needs to be simple, easy to use and easy to find. Some people hide navigation in graphics. Some of them hide it in text. Have you ever seen a site where you click on your browser type to enter it? There is nothing there to say “hey! this is how you enter my site!” Unless it’s a site for psychics, it’s not very useful and it’s a navigational flop. Not to mention pretty annoying for someone who spends time trying to find access to the site and gives up eventually.

I put content ahead of style because content is what people actually came to your site for. It wasn’t a demonstration of frames, flash or pop up ads. Hope that didn’t come as a shock to anyone. Content should be spelled right, proofread for typos and at least a little fact checking is a good idea. It’s also a good idea to change your content now and then. Ideally you should update your site as often as you want people to come in and visit it. If you want daily visits a blog is a good way to go. But, blog everyday with something at least a little unique and interesting. Focus is a good thing too. Being too diversified makes it hard for readers to know your voice and understand what you believe in, who you are. People like to see pictures of the people they read because they want to know who is behind the words.

Last, style, it’s kind of the buffer between your content and navigation. It’s what makes your site colourful, unique and gives it an attitude that people can see even before they start reading your content. But, style should not take over your site. After all, you want them to read your words too. Things like flash or a ton of graphics will drown you out. Also, people are not likely to wait for an unknown site to load. Especially when it’s just a bunch of graphics, not what they came for.

So, off you go. Put up your brilliant websites, make the rest of us green with envy. That, or you know we’ll be there to borrow your best ideas and adapt them for our own sites. Did I just type that… ignore that woman behind the curtain she knows way too many of my secrets.