Creating Web Sites for Web Surfers

September 2004
by Reid Goldsborough

« Back to Independent Articles

If you build it, will they come? This is one of the fundamental questions you have to confront when you’re creating a Web site, whether you’re a publisher or a Web professional.

One of the fundamental ways to ensure that people do come, and return, is to make the content of your site as appealing and as accessible as possible. A new study by Forrester Research (, an information-technology market research firm in Cambridge, MA, examines just what people most value in a Web site.

The bottom line: People seek substance over style, usefulness over flash. And they want to get what they want quickly.

Make It Fast

Those surveyed valued, above all else, “direct paths to the content I am looking for.” Next was “proper labeling of menu items.” After this, people most valued “great search.” What people valued least were “personalization of content” and “personalization of interface.”

Previous research by Forrester showed that 57 percent of the business-to-consumer sites they examined don’t clearly indicate and describe links to inside pages, and 60 percent don’t offer a comprehensive and precise search tool.

These findings jibe with what Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen has been preaching for years. Nielsen, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group ( in Fremont, CA, and author of 10 books on user interfaces, believes that most We…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

Join Today!

« Back to Independent Articles

How to Get Involved!
Marketing Opportunities

From mailings to exhibits, see how IBPA's marketing programs help you grow your sales.

Educational Opportunities

Attend a seminar, ask an expert, and get more free advice with our educational programs.

Become a member

Access exclusive members-only benefits starting at just $10.