Data Driven Web Site Design

Does this situation sound familiar? You’re in a meeting and your throwing around ideas about how your website should look. Your partner says, “Let’s not use drop-down menus, I hate using them and hurts the quality of the site.” Meanwhile you ‘re thinking, “I don’t mind drop-down menus. I think they’re practical.”

Then you say, “OK, but I think that we should use the red logo instead of the blue one, I think people will relate to it better.” “No way,” replies your partner, “the red logo does a much better job of calling people to action.”

And so the same conversation goes that has plagued meeting rooms ever since advertising was invented. The belief that most web users are like us is enough to produce gridlock in the average web design meeting. But behind that belief lies another one: the belief that most web users are like anything.

Web use is idiosyncratic. There are no “right” answers. The better solution: make a hypothesis, test it out and see what works. Be driven by the data. If a higher percentage of customers who land on the page with the blue logo and the drop-down menus, than use it. After you’ve crossed that bridge, make another hypothesis, test it and see if it works.

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