A recent post suggested “7 Things That Annoy Website Visitors.” Experience has taught us that, “one size does not fit all.” Neither does one set of guidelines.
The buyer of a one-of-a-kind, $17 million, mountaintop chalet does not share the same perspective as the individual who is trying to find the best price for Duracell® Batteries. Commodity buyers have a choice of dozens of websites for purchasing the identical product at virtually the same price. They can and frequently will make their buying decision on the basis of website background colors, font size, or some other equally obscure standard. Most often, their primary goal is to complete the transaction as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Slow loading times, music, videos, cluttered layouts, scattered navigation, required registration, the absence of contact information, and too much Flash are roadblocks on their way to Happy Hour. Picture yourself waiting in line at the Speedy Mart to pay for that package of Altoids® while the customer in front of you labors over his decision to box his lottery numbers or play them straight. You sense the ice melting in your Mai Tai, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Few people choose the minute before the airline begins boarding first class passengers to explore the opportunity to purchase a luxury oceanfront vacation home in Bora Bora or a getaway home in the Mediterranean. Those pursuits are typically reserved for more leisurely moments.
Rather than simply accept the status quo, one must rely upon the knowledge gained from years of experience. Accepting vague guidelines unsupported by hard data frequently leads to unsatisfactory results. It has often been said, “There is an exception to every rule.” Those who blindly accept the ruminations of “experts” are destined to be shortchanged.