Your visitors come first
Build your site for your visitors, not you. People come to your Web site to learn something or accomplish a task. Good websites help people do what they came to do quickly and easily. Focus on what your visitors want to do, not on what you want to say.
Who are your visitors?
First identify your site's visitors. Who are the people most likely to visit your site? On a university website, we would expect to see the following kinds of people.
- Prospective students
- Current students
- Parents of prospective or current students
- Prospective faculty
- Current faculty
- Faculty or staff from other universities
Who among these general groups makes up your principal audience? On most of the sites that make up TWU.edu, the first three groups are the primary audience, i.e., the audience whose needs should be considered first. Bringing in new students and retaining current students are the top two priorities for TWU.edu.
What do your visitors want to do on your site?
Visitors to your site come to learn something or to do something. Understanding what they come to learn or do is essential to building an effective website. In general, visitors to TWU.edu come to:
- Learn what programs TWU offers
- Learn about the cost of attending TWU
- Learn about financial aid or scholarships
- Apply for financial aid or scholarships
- Apply to the university
How visitors use the Web
Keep in mind that website visitors typically:
- Scan pages
- Pick out keywords and phrases
- Read in quick, short bursts Are action oriented
- Click and forage in search of bits of information that lead them toward a goal