By Winmark Business Solutions
When building a business Web site, frustration is a common experience among business owners trying to judge the quality of Web site design. Everyone wants to implement the best looking Web site, but opinions of what constitutes a great site vary. Fortunately, good Web sites aren’t based on opinion. They are based on evidence.
Although the look and feel of many well-conceived Web sites may vary greatly, good Web sites tend to share a number of common characteristics. These characteristics provide the basis of the “Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines” developed by the federal government as part of its usability.gov initiative. (Download the guidelines here.)
The federal guidelines provide marketers with a good overview and deep understanding of the wide range of Web design issues they may encounter while managing a Web site. The guidelines provide marketers with standards that can be used to judge Web designs. Marketers can request that their Web designers and developers follow relevant portions of the guidelines and can use them to set priorities.
While the number of guidelines can seem daunting, usability.gov provides a tool developed in cooperation with AARP that allows site visitors to sort guidelines based on their overall relevance and supporting evidence. So it is possible to identify and focus on the most important guidelines for success.
For example, the four guidelines that score highest in both relevance and supporting evidence include:
Winmark Business Solutions (WBS) is a free Web site for small businesses and entrepreneurs containing over 6,000 pages of business-critical information and downloadable tools at www.WBSonline.com. WBS is a division of Winmark Corporation, a multi-brand franchisor with nearly 900 franchise locations in North America. With over 25 years working with small businesses, WBS draws upon years of experience to bring important small business articles, information, tools, forms, checklists, calculators and downloadable forms to the small business owner to help their business grow. WBS contains over 6000 pages of business-critical information all available at www.WBSonline.com.