I spent the entire day watching presentations about consumer websites. Especially interesting as my own association is deciding how to change our consumer site. Presenters discussed what drives design development of corporate and government sites that have heavy consumer applications and traffic -- Noted that while accessibility and ADA on sites are givens, that consideration of adult literacy is often overlooked. In fact, up to half of the adult U.S. population has low literacy rates – a detail that never occurred to me in thinking about our consumer site. Check out these literacy statistics.
Here are a few tips I learned today:
1. Whatever is placed at the top left side will get the most/first attention
2. Pictures, especially of faces, draws attention [note what I added to this post]
3. Use as few (easy) words as possible to assist consumers in finding information
4. Low literacy means many want to limit how much they’ll need to read – so using words like “initiatives” will get only higher literacy visitors
5. Add a “kids’ page” to the site, which will be more than just a site of interest for students or kids – that page can supply good information in the easiest possible terms for adults too
6. Link the kids’ pages of other related organizations to your kids’ page section - to provide additional simplified info (without requiring more work/development from you).