Every business, practice, and organization needs a website. Even if you know that your typical client isn’t that comfortable on a computer.
But what should be different about your site if that’s the case? I recently had an opportunity to observe a number of unskilled internet users. Here are some behaviors I noticed:
- They’re not good at search. These folks typed searches into the address bar and URLs into the search bar. No problem; the major search engines can handle this. But skilled users will try a search and, if it doesn’t work, refine it. Unskilled users will give up. This means that you must show up well for the first thing your unskilled users think of.
- They read the page. Skilled users start scrolling and clicking very quickly. Unskilled users fold their hands in their laps and read your site as if it were a book. They’re less likely to leave and go to another site right away — but they’re also less likely to click further into your site. Get your goods onto the home page.
- They’re confused by fancy stuff. While unskilled users may be more impressed by flash intros and more receptive to things that happen automatically, they may not be able to figure out how to use your gallery, or how to get back to the main page after clicking something. I heard a lot of things like, “How do I get out of here?” If you have an unskilled audience, think twice about using mouseover or interactives.
So how can you tell whether you’re likely to have technologically innocent customers? We don’t want to stereotype, but consider this possibility if you have older customers. Also check Google Analytics for the browsers being used; people using older browsers are likely to be people who don’t know how to get themselves a new one.