Three Inches Part Deux

Eh, so much for consistency. You know darn well every time you think of Part 2 of anything you think of Part Deux because of Hot Shots. You know, back before Charlie Sheen had tiger blood. No? I’m aging myself here, aren’t I? Moving on…

Three Inches and website design, usability, experience, whatever buzz word you want to insert. That’s what I will address this time. Maybe not design so much as usability. Those words again. Back in the day, (hehe, who can type that with a serious face) you hired a website or graphic designer. Now, you need a user experience expert as well as someone who knows how to design something pretty. This is getting complicated, right?

Let’s cut straight through the intimidation and get back to three inches. This is what you need to know to design an above average, user-friendly, small business website. Three little words: Above The Fold. Don’t know what the fold is? Anything above what someone on an average computer screen will have to scroll down to see (who even knows what average is anymore thanks to tablets?!?).  Don’t over-analyze this, though. Keep important information at the top of your website. Top right if you want to get fancy. Why? The average user uses a browser (won’t name any names here) that closes in the top right. So, when people want to contact you, that’s where the mouse goes. OR… think of it this way. When they are done with you, there’s one last chance to get your branding across.

Here’s a tip I usually charge for ( or rant on social media about when websites aren’t set up this way, you choose ): Place your social media icons in the top right! Why you ask again? Stop asking why, just do it! Ok, kidding. As people are closing their browser window, you have that last ditch effort that they might want to connect with you. So they cannot resist clicking on a cute little icon and connecting! Woo hoo!

Let’s be real, though. I’ve done a poor job of tying in why this entry can be called Three Inches. That pertinent information should be in the first Three Inches of your site, Above the Fold! Yay! Here’s what qualifies as pertinent then I have to go to sleep. I apologize for the rambled nature of this. I outline your contact information because having a page that says Contact and sending visitors to another page is unacceptable! Make it easy!

  1. Name of business & logo
  2. Unique Value Proposition – what makes your business different than competitors? Did I tell you you have 20s to make an impression?
  3. Address ( or none if you are an online only retailer )
  4. Phone number ( clickable from mobile phones )
  5. Email ( clickable from all devices )
  6. Anything else that stands out or is difficult about your business. IF your business is hard to find, put a map link that’s easy to see!
  7. Running a special? Consider that!
  8. Of course Primary Navigation based on your customer’s interests. (yes, theirs. Not what you think they want to see)

One other thing to look out for is if you notice a high number of people searching for something within your site, you need to make it easier to find.

To summarize so I can go to bed: Don’t make people scroll or hunt to contact you. What else do you think should be  Above the Fold?


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