Select Tips and Tricks in Creating Your Informational and/or Multimedia Website

October 11, 2009 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment

Five tips for creating your informational and/or multimedia website as discussed in my Interactive Writing & Design class:

  • Essentially, you can engage your audience in one of six ways: persuade them to do something (ex: a call to action, like signing a petition to get Wonderfalls back on the air); entertain them (make them laugh or amuse them); inform and educate them (create awareness about an issue and/or provide information); enable transactions (e-commerce!); and help create community by doing things like providing polls and forums.
  • Avoid cognitive overload. Don’t have too many choices on a page! The optimal number is 7 +/- 2 (5 should be the minimum, 9 should be the maximum).
  • Use concept maps on a site to help users orient themselves and allow them to find what they need quickly and without issue.
  • Give people an “easy out”; always allow them to undo something. How frustrating is it to be on a site and be filling out a form or survey and not being able to go back? Very! In the same vein, allow people a way to save their work if they have to leave and call it back up upon their return. It really sucks if you’re in the middle of filling something out but have to leave the computer or allow someone else to go on the computer and all the work you’ve done so far is erased.
  • Learn about your users! What do they want to get from your site? Looking at site analytics, keywords and referring websites will begin to tell you. Figure out their expertise, culture, and language; you can get this information by creating a poll or survey for your audience to complete.

Hope these tips help, and good luck in creating that website! If you need a couple more tips about optimizing your Internet presence, click here, or optimizing your blog readership, click here.

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Entry filed under: COM 540- Interactive Writing & Design.

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