It’s all about the audience
According to Reddish, “writing successful web content doesn’t start with typing words. It starts with finding out about your audience and their needs.” So, in order to make a successful website, we must understand our audience. To do this, we must focus on who’s coming and why. We must “let go” of our words, and start using words that mean something to our audience. Helpful strategies to accomplish this is to list your major audiences and gather and define characteristics, questions, tasks, and goals. Focusing on the audience and their needs will enable you to better develop your website.
Connecting with the Homepage:
GIving your website a great home page allows your audience to find what the need, and act based on the understanding they achieve. Redish outlines five functions crucial to maintaining a successful homepage:
- Identifying the site and establishing a brand
- Setting a tone and personality
- Providing a sense of what the site is about
- Letting people start key tasks immediately
- Sending people in the right direction efficiently
To exemplify the features of a successful website, let’s look at artist Jen Ramos and her website, Cocoa and Hearts and see if it reflects the five functions.
1. The site clearly is clearly defined with the name “Cocoa and Hearts” and tagline “Orginal Art by Jen Ramos.” The audience can clearly identify the brand of the site, especially the way her artwork comes to represent her logo, specifically by putting her famously bright and colorful brushstrokes by the tagline.
2. The artist successfully sets the tone and personality of the site through consistent style, color, typography, and writing style. The text is typically a light brown or black, and the main typing is a georgia/times new roman font, with cursive header links. The simple text is a nice contrast to the brightly colored paintings
3. The homepage provides a sense of what the site is about by establishing it’s an art website where the audience can buy art and learn more about the artist. These aspects are made clear with header links and social media links to the right. She also provides this sense with a slideshow of her work, which quickly shows the style of her work to the audience.
4. The homepage allows viewers to start key tasks immediately. The links quickly direct the audience to what they are coming for and, make it easily accessible. The viewer can quickly click to the gallery, blog, etc. The homepage also has a box for the viewer to add themselves to a mailing list.
5. The website is also great about sending people in the right way efficiently. The artist does this best by using your visitors’ words throughout her website, and creating good, recognizable links for them to click on. As a result, the audience has a clear understanding of how to navigate the homepage.