Thursday, 14 June 2012

Your Header Design– A Checklist for Sign-Ups, Cookies and More


Working with clients on their websites and working through new website developments it always surprises me what people think the header area is for.  It's what any visitor to your site see first....and judges you by first.  Yes it’s about your logo.  Yes it’s about your strapline or mission statement if you have/need one but it’s also the first place visitors look for vital information about your company and your website.

Too often the cry goes up ‘but I want to keep it clean’, ‘I want visitors to understand about our branding from the minute they arrive at our website’ and I agree with both of those, however there are some things that just should not be left out, and if you do you will affect your chances of conversion.  Remember, you just have a very few seconds to grab the attention of those who arrive at your website, and you need to make the most important details as obvious as possible.

Your Logo - Left or Center
Your Search Box (centre or to the right)

Telephone Number or a link to Contact Details
Store Finder (if appropriate)
Delivery Information Link
Currency Converter and Country (If appropriate)
Basket Details

This may sound a lot, but remember that so many will now be browsing your website on a tablet or mobile device and so much of what you would, in the past, have put in the footer, and may repeat there, needs to be fully visible at the top for quick clicks.  Too far down the page and the information may not be spotted..

Email sign-up Box – you think it’s obvious, unless you don’t have one………….
Two websites I have worked with recently had no email sign-up box on their home page.  Hands thrown up at such a missed opportunity.  Just in case you’re one of those, do something about it right now.  It is an essential piece of home page real estate and cannot be left out.

Privacy and Cookie Policy – Another hot topic (and one which will remain so) more and more websites are putting this also in their header area.  Make sure you have updated yours in any case. More about this here.  And take a look at how net-a-porter.com and johnlewis.com have handled this.

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And contact me at phd@thesiteguide.com

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