Having your web design developed around a series of tasks is a suggestion that has come out of, of all places, Google Adsense blog. I generally find that a lot of what Google serves up as advice is actually an attempt to undermine the efforts of SEO consultants. This time around, they are promoting what is in reality a very practical suggestion.
There are so many websites around that look like, and probably have been, built over time. A little like a house that keeps having rooms added, it can look a little ugly and be a little difficult to navigate. Most websites have a purpose, be it sales, generating subscribers, or hoping for clicks on your ads. If your website does have a distinct purpose then your web design needs to be built around achieving that purpose.
Google are doing a five week educational series designed to ’speed up your business’. The latest post deals with the ‘user experience‘. Knowing Google, that will be the theme behind all of the parts to this series. However, in the small paragraph on web design, they suggested:
Write down the top three tasks your users might want to accomplish on your site, and design to make those tasks quick and efficient.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be three tasks. It could be two or four or perhaps a few more. I certainly wouldn’t go overboard. Your website should have very clear objectives and these should not be too burdensome.
Having said that, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you only have the one objective. If you are selling then sales is obviously one objective. However, if the visitor is not ready to buy, rather than leaving your site you would want them to view your current sales catalog, or check out other items that are for sale, or perhaps slip across to your blog. These are still activities that need to be planned for and that planning starts with your web design.