Nielsen’s Hot Top-10 list

Peter Jones Information Ecology, Innovation

Nielsen posts another Top-10, hitting the mark on designing for business needs and e-Commerce sites. This time, a neat summary of the Top 10 High ROI priorities for website redesign. 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities

“I often write about the top mistakes in Web design, but what are the top things you can do to make more money? Following here are 10 Internet tactics with a particularly high return on investment (ROI).”

These include:

1. Email Newsletters
2. Informative Product Pages
3. High-Quality Photography
4. Product Differentiation and Comparisons
5. Support for Reordering

6. Simplified Text
7. Catering to Seniors
8. Gift-Giving Support

9. Search
10. User Testing

Of these, I’ve bolded the ones that I’ve seen the most need for in professional services domains. Factors like high-quality photography should be a given for a professionally-designed site. And User Testing is a Nielsen high-profit item, not a website high-profit factor. More correctly, usability testing is HOW you identify the highest return values for your product, but it is not a factor of the site itself, for example, like a good search interface.

What else would I add from my research? As I started making these up, I realized I’ve also found 10 for certain that return high value. These are more for professional services or B2B, but I think most apply in all cases, such as consumer sites or corporate presence.

1. Findability. Google SEO so that your site is in the top 5 hits.

2. Clearly-defined landing pages from within the site so that search links have a perfect path to decision-making

3. Clustered or categorized search results, designed to the user need – so that WHEN your users try to search inside the site they have a good chance locating their target.

4. Clearly defined navigation (and 7 or fewer tabs) that keeps users within your site long enough to buy or do something.

5. Obvious search box location, and good indexing of keywords behind the content.

6. Useful alternative choices – if the user finds nothing on the landing page, they may find something in a Gallery column.

7. Simple ads – If you gotta have them, ixnay on the distracting flashy bits. It pushes people away from the page.

8. A common-sense Contact Us. Just a page with the facts: Email, Phone, Address, hours available, a map. All on one page.

9. Simple Checkout, simple terms of purchase. Nielsen taught us this one a long time ago!

10. Easy URL. OK, maybe not a high ROI, but a basic point. Your domain name should be easy to say and remember.

Take a look at your sites – which work better for you, Jakob’s or mine?