In this short guide to confusing web site visitors, you will learn best practices in the art of confusion. Truthfully, these 7 points have a little bit of humor in them. Don’t feel bad if you find you are already applying one (or more) of them. Chances are; no one ever told you it was a bad idea. But it is, and you might want to get it fixed.
1. Cook Up a Menu System With All The Fixin’s
Make your visitors feel like they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole to Wonderland when they use your website’s menu. We want that menu to drop down, fly out, and fill the screen with every link, option, and more. Let them choose which page they want; by letting them select it from all the available pages.
2. Make Every Department Head a Web Designer
Allow each department to help design the home page. Each “department web designer” should have at least one thing to promote on the home page. Allow them to re-arrange the home page to best fit their new content. This will help populate the home page with all of the most important information. It will also help with step 3.
3. Have Lots of Eye Catching Graphics
You don’t just want people to visit your site. You want them to be dazzled with color and movement, like a child entering a candy store. Make all of the content in step 2 really shine. Make it all “pop” with pretty faces and images. We want visitors to not know where to start because it all looks so good.
4. Rotate Those Ads With Style
You have so much good stuff to tell your members that you can’t fit it all on the screen. So put those ads in a slide show that rotates across the screen. Be sure to not allow them to pause the slide show, or they may not see all the ads. People are already sitting on your home page for minutes in awe and wonder, so give them more to look at.
5. Hide Branch Locations & Other Unimportant Things
People go to your website to see all the amazing things you put on there. They don’t need to find a branch location. They’re online because they don’t need a physical branch. Since they basically live online, there is also no need to have your phone number on the contact page. Don’t be seen as “out of date”. Use a web form as your only form of communication.
6. Design Your Site For Desktop Users Only
Some people say you should design your site to be “responsive” or “multi-device compatible” for mobile users. Hogwash! You built that mobile app for people with smart phones. What more could they want? Members, or even potential members, would never visit your website on a smart phone.
7. Completely Change Your Website’s Design Periodically
People eventually get tired of your boring old website layout. It’s been the same since your cousin’s high school age son designed it (and he’s in college now). So when it’s time for a change, really make it stand out as a whole new site. That way it won’t have to be updated for another year or two. People will love your new design, and they’ll be filling up the phone lines to tell you how great it is!
Feeling Confused After All That?
Many, well-intentioned CU’s and banks have encountered these mistakes. Frankly, sometimes they sound like a good idea. You might even be confused as to why some of these are bad ideas for a CU homepage or website. Basically, all of these methods can cause confusion for a majority of members.