Me and glue don’t mix. If I open this glue that I have in my hand right now you can be sure that I will be covered in it and so might you be if you come too close. But why am I thinking about glue? I often get asked how to tell a good website from a not so good website. The answer is that it depends on how sticky the website it is.
So what makes a website sticky?
Under the bonnet
Many years ago now my Dad taught me how to change spark plugs and the oil filters. But now I don’t even know if a car has spark plugs not to mention oil filters.
The technology that a website use is the equivalent to looking “under the bonnet”. When I think of the very first website I built and one’s I am creating this week it’s like chalk and cheese. But sometimes I still see websites that are a bit like the old Fiat 126 that my dad taught me to maintain. And guess what? The websites don’t have up to date technical specs won’t be sticky.
Who has one of these then?
Look at the sleek lines on the car and those design features. Good design, whether it be a car or a website doesn’t happen by accident. I got sidetracked (again) on the internet and started looking for the worst website in the world and I found a website for “Gates N Fences”. “Gates N fences” may create a wonderful gate but I wouldn’t call them because their website is not doing them justice.
Website Design Principles
Web design principles are the equivalent of the body work on a car. And sorry to put someone down but Gates N fences just don’t have a sticky website – but they are infamous now aren’t they as having the worse website in the world. If you follow these web design principles you will have a major element of a sticky website:
- Easy to understand navigation
- Proper use of colour
- Proper use of animation (if any)
- An easy to use layout
- Pleasing to the eye
- Appropriate to the topic
- The design elements don’t get in the way of the content
- Great content that’s easy to find, navigate, consume, and share
These principles create sticky websites.
A Plush Interior
One of my sister’s has bought a new car and it has leather seats that move by themselves when you open the door, a walnut dashboard and goodness know what else it does.
Website Words And Pictures
The words and pictures on a website are the equivalent to the “plush interior” of a car. The content on a website will give it that “wow” factor. There are businesses who think anything will do…well yes you can have a website with a few, badly written words and pixelated pictures but it won’t be sticky.
Here’s a few examples of websites that have sticky content:
Businesses that invest in content for their website will attract more interest online than those businesses that don’t. Whether it be copywriters, photographers or graphic designers I say they are well worth the money (and I know a few good ones who I work with).
A Sticky Website Equals Trust
Stephen Covey said that:
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
So you need a sticky website:
- To build trust online
- To be effective in communicating your message
- To build relationships
That is why sticky websites are so important.
(These are the notes of a talk I gave recently at a Wolverhampton Women’s Business Forum Networking Event.)