Website Homepage Design Insight From Mequoda’s Systems Director

Nancy Horan discusses her experiences

Stepping into the world of online marketing or online publishing involves a lot of thought. You need to have a plan, a strategy to execute on that plan, and all of the right tools to allow for success.

If you’re coming from the world of legacy publishing, or any other industry unrelated to the internet, the components of your website may be harder to establish than previously expected.

Upon entering the online area, you may have ideas on how your website homepage design should look. You may want a specific layout, colors, images and video to be part of your homepage design. It is of course always great to have creative insight, but also keep the aspect of usability in the front of your mind. You want your website to look great, but almost more importantly, you will need it to be user friendly. A website that doesn’t cater to the audience’s needs will be exited quickly.

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A dialogue on website design with Nancy Horan

For the past year and a half Nancy Horan has been the Systems Director of the Mequoda Group. During this time she has worked with many clients, ranging from new website design clients to web veterans. I asked her about design issues that come up that may not be obvious to someone not as design savvy as a systems director. I found her answers interesting. They are definitely worth noting to anyone who operates a website of their own, or anyone about to take the leap into doing so.

CS: What are a couple of the biggest issues you’ve faced as Systems Director of the Mequoda Group?
Nancy Horan: When working with new website design, clients often decide on design changes that go against information architecture best practices. The Mequoda Design Team knows how to create the best design for user experience, yet sometimes clients want to follow a different path. It is often hard to convince clients to use our recommendations when they have their own idea of what their website should be.

The other issue I often face involves usability testing. Many clients want to eliminate this phase in order to save money. However, I strongly advise against it. Usability testing is key in creating the best user experience possible on a website. It is worth every penny spent in order to avoid user frustration and high abandon rates on the website. I tell clients whenever a change is made that it is important to test, test, test.

An outsider’s thought process on website homepage design

I consider myself an outsider because I don’t build websites. I do however visit hundreds of them on a weekly basis.

If I was creating my own website I would want to take charge of the creativity behind its design. However, after hearing Nancy’s comments on the matter, I do see the need to focus on the usability of the site. Ultimately, what’s the point in having a website if no one wants to return after their first visit?

For more helpful tips on website homepage design with Nancy Horan be sure to register for our live webinar Website Homepage Design Workshop on May 4th.

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