Be Objective About Your Web Site Design

Today, I'm teaching a class on web site design at Provo Labs Academy. In preparing for the class I am reminded how often emotions run high when people discuss or debate how a web site should be designed. There are lots of strong opinions out there, and many of them are not informed by marketing experience, but simply by personal design preference.

Training: Web Site Design, Landing Page Optimization and Conversion Rate

Yesterday we held a Provo Labs Academy training session on landing page optimization. I played about 15 minutes of excerpts from the May 23rd MarketingExperiements.com conference call recording. They described how they increased the conversion rate of a hypnosis product landing page by 40% by improving the layout and design slightly. They also offer some excellent guidelines for landing page design at the end of their report. We also reviewed the landing page design guidelines listed in the free 30-page report from Enquiro.com (Inside the Mind of the Searcher) from 2004. (Registration is required.) Here is the list they provide:

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Call for Utah experts on Usability testing

I blogged the other day about the need for usability testing of web sites. The Steve Krug book "Don't Make Me Think" is a good one, but my favorite is still "Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity" by Jakob Nielsen. One of my readers asked:
Thank for the blog entry on usability the other day. Do you know of any usability/UI experts here local in Utah?.. Or that you can recommend locally?
I haven't worked with any external consultants or firms that will do this. Does anyone know who the best people are in Utah?

Google Maps API

Finally, the Google Maps API is here so that web developers can overlay all kinds of data on top of the best online mapping system in the world. Soon worldhistory.com will have tens of thousands of historic sites available to view on top of Google Maps. It's currently being developed. I can't wait for this to launch.

Single Product E-Commerce Sites

Yesterday I spent time looking at internet marketing tools (I've purchased and used several over the years). I decided that Web Position Gold's web site is perhaps the cleanest and crispest single product ecommerce site that I can ever remember visiting. The layout, design, formatting, and copy is so well done.

Question for readers: what other single product ecommerce sites do you think accomplish their purpose superbly? And why are so few web sites laid out so well?