Why Your Website Design Sucks

By Yaro Starak
18 Comments

Update: Since they added a new video to this series, you have to click the “view playlist” button in the video player and choose the video with Andy Edmonds presenting StomperNet Scrutinizer to get the video I am referring to.

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Andy Jenkins and his team at StomperNet are at it again, releasing more great free videos, this time under the label of “Going Natural 2.0″.

Here is the current video that reveals a ton of information about how a few simple changes to your navigation structure, your use of whitespace and contrast, will improve your site’s visual appeal and ensure you keep visitors at your site for longer.

The video is 30 minutes long, so set aside some time and have a notepad ready, you will definitely want to run back to your site after this video is done and make some changes to your design.

Your Blog Design Sucks Too

I’ve looked at a lot of blogs and had a lot of people ask me to review their blog. The most common problem I see when looking at blog design is how cluttered and “busy” most blogs are, full of widgets and graphics and buttons and just too much going on. And yes, I’m taking my own advice – my new blog design is definitely cleaner than the current one.

When I tell people to “simplify” their blog it’s not just based my opinion – it’s the cold hard truth about how people interact with websites.

How do I know this is the truth? Because scientific eye-tracking tests confirm it.

Using technology that can track eye movement, advanced marketers like the team at StomperNet are testing how people look at websites, what keeps them interested and what drives them away. It really is eye-opening stuff – no pun intended!

It’s worth watching this video just to see eye-tracking in action and also learn more about the human eye. After this video you will understand why so many site designs deliver information in tight little boxes – it’s because of how the human works!

If you have a high bounce rate at your blog or you sell products from your site using a shopping cart or you just want to know how to better structure certain elements of your site design to encourage people to stay longer and perform certain actions (join a newsletter, click a checkout button, etc), this video is a must watch.

You can watch the larger version of the video by going to www.stompernet.net.

Now I’m going to go back and watch the video before this one about duplicate content.

Yaro Starak
Eye-Tracker

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18 Comments

  • It is great information though lots of technical details which were some what over my head. I was however, able to learn few new things and would apply to my site designs.

  • I think you could take some of their advice and apply it to your blog

    :P

  • I’m excited to see what your new design looks like, Yaro. Do you have an idea of when it will debut?

  • Not sure Chris – the hope is January, but it’s taken a lot longer than I thought to get it done due to so many revisions, so I don’t want to say any specifics and then have the details change.

    January is the plan and I also have another amazing resource coming out for newbie bloggers around then too.

    Yaro

  • Science tracks unconscious monkeys in a state of mind where the quality of their attention is the lowest. While there’s a valid argument for leaving first impressions, there’s an equally valid argument concerning knowing your target audience and understanding how to keep them interested the moment they hit the blog no matter how it looks.

    My design is absolute crap – in fact, you could even say it is a designer’s nightmare. But my readership continues to climb as well as the number of links to it.

    Why not teach people to find their passion or their flare and then stand out rather than to conform and hope that, “scientifically”, they get their small little share of the pie.

    After all, if you do it like Stomper.net, then you’ll be COMPETING with stomper.net and I think the majority of the people reading this are not in that ballpark.

    Whitespace… lol

    Sam

  • Hey Sam,

    I’m about using every tool and piece of information that helps.

    StomperNet videos are definitely VERY helpful.

    Yaro

  • I thought they made a couple of good points.

    But to take thirty minutes to do it! I wish they’d do a transcript. Then I could skip all the waffle about, “Now here’s so and so a truly wonderful human being”. I’m sure they are and they don’t kick the cat but frankly my dear . . .

  • Yaro,
    where is the 30-minute video you are talking about? this video you have on your webpage is a 6-minute introduction to their Scrutinizer program, not the video you mentioned in your post.
    Thank you.
    francesco

  • Francesco, read the update I made at the start of this post to locate the right video.

  • I have watch the whole 10 minutes video is very informative and make sense. However, I still found people are not reading the page with just a narrow focus. Where this should be make it right on your objective of your sites. They have a analyst one of the webstore that selling everything. I don’t think so the visitor can be focus on a single item. Because they are too many item show on the first page. It still can bring a concentration for the visitors.

    Unless you site have provides some sort of attraction and attention. So, I still considered on human buying behaviour or human clicking behaviour even though the system work well.

    Machine don’t know what the visitor are thinking about. Everyone come to your site with different though. They will able to take a different action on top of that.

    So, make a website that make sense to human friendly. That’s could be the most important.

  • There is nothing to me like keeping things clean and simple, and that includes a blog site.

  • Using many widgets or sections on a blog is not a cool thing definitely….

    Another problem I have with one of my blogs is the sporadic errors coming from several widgets (javascript errors)… That is really annoying.

  • Hey Yaro,

    Great blog. I absolutely love those guys over at Stompernet. I always learn so much from them. One question I have for you. How do you have this video on here?

    You probably aren’t going to reveal this, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

    See you later,

    Sheree

  • […] I was excited to see the email and thought, wow, an A-List blogger emailing me!!  I was sure this was going to be a good day, at least until I read the title of the email…..”Why Your Blog Design Sucks.” […]

  • Sheree – If you are a partner (affiliate) of StomperNet you are given tools, like this video player, to promote with.

    Nothing to secretive about it ;-)

  • One has to a bit of an artistic eye to be good at design. I try all tools and tips and still can’t get it. Maybe that’s why I wear all black.

    Thanks,
    J

  • Wow what a video, I know what i will be doing over the next coming weeks. Keep up the good work.

  • Even though the article was written 2007, I still found it to be informative.

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