Involving Users Early In The Process

Description: Designing web pages isn't always a straightforward process. You must always keep the end user in mind during each and every stage for the finished product to be a success.

The arrival of Web 2.0 has led to a general sea change when it comes to how we view and design websites.

Instead of keeping them fairly insular, it's now in our best interests to draw the user in as soon as possible when they visit our site, in order to get them involved and to play an active part in using the site and getting the best out of it.

It's a known fact that a visitor who spends several minutes on your website is far more likely to come back again and maybe even make a purchase than someone who stays for only a minute or so before going elsewhere. So if there is one thing you must try and do when you are designing your website, it's figuring out how to pull people in.

The best tip to remember is to provide stuff for them to do. A member's only area can work well if you have the resources to get something worthwhile set up. Make sure you can offer something tempting that people won't get if they don't become a member. Some websites make good use of a forum to entice people to keep coming back, and it's arguably one of the best ways to keep people interested.

Other interactive elements such as polls can also draw people in. Ask a question and provide three or four possible answers. Once your visitor has selected their own answer they can click to see the overall voting so far. It's just one more way of getting people involved early on.

The whole point of getting people involved is so that they come back and visit your site more often. You want them as regulars if at all possible, since this opens up opportunities to sell products and services to them in the future.

One good way of doing this is to keep adding new content to your website. What's more you can announce your next article in advance of it appearing - so anyone new who visits your site will know that they should come back soon to read the next intriguing article you have planned.

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