Juggernaut > Web site design > Goals

Juggernaut Technology Pty Ltd

Suite 14b Greenhill Enterprise Centre,
University Drive, Mt Helen Victoria

PO Box 175, Buninyong Victoria 3357

Tel: 03 5309 0494   Fax: 03 5309 0495
Email: ra@juggernaut.com.au

Web surfers are goal-driven

Every visitor to a web site is trying achieve a specific goal. This goal will vary widely for each visitor, and even for different visits by the same person. The long-term success of a web site depends on it being able to meet the goals of its visitors.

Visitors can be classified into three broad categories:

Just as there are three types of visitors to sites, there are three categories of sites:

The Reader and the Library

The sort of web site that has Readers is generally a reference site of some kind. It will contain detailed information about the products or services of the organisation who owns the site. Most corporate sites have content of this nature. These sites seek to inform visitors of the range of products and services the organisation offers or to provide support for these products.

Often Readers will be customers or potential customers of the organisation. They will be researching a purchase or obtaining support for something they have purchased. It is important to look after the needs of these visitors as they supply the life-blood of the organisation. The site must present information clearly and accessibly to help these visitors reach their goal.

The User and the Mall

The User is a very special visitor to the web site. If the site is an e-commerce site Users are customers looking to buy goods. If the site has a forum or offers some special service, Users are the target audience of this service.

Users are the source of the site's revenue so the site must help these visitors reach their goal as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The Surfer and the Arcade

When we're just Surfing to fill in time (as opposed to actively reading or using the web) we're not in the frame of mind to buy products or utilise services. Surfers may generate revenue at some stage in the future if they like the products and services they see on the site. But the main focus of a site should be the Readers and Users.

It is only important to help Surfers meet their goal if they have the potential to return to the site as a Reader or User in the future.

The Implications

The User and the Reader are the two kinds of visitors from which the web site generates revenue. Helping these users reach their goal must be the primary aim of a web site.

The current trend in web site design is to create extremely complex sites. Lots of graphics and Flash, complex navigation systems, unique user interfaces... these all present an obstacle for Users and Readers.

It is our opinion that a web site should primarily cater for Readers and Users, the visitors who actively generate revenue for the site. Any elements of the site which don't assist these visitors to achieve their goal should be carefully considered. It may still be possible to build a parallel site which appeals to Surfers, and which links back into the core site which is designed primarily for Readers and Users. This structure has the added benefit of actively trying to convert Surfers into revenue-generating users.

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