WebsiteOptimization.com was designed by the author in 2002, in the age of slower dial-up modems. The design was starting to show its age, so we’ve been quietly working on a redesign to improve the look and conversion rate. This article shows how we redesigned the site, and some of the techniques we used to achieve our goals.
The importance of download speed, for most Web users, has long been established (King 2008). Fast response times foster higher flow states (Skadberg & Kimmel 2004), higher conversion rates (Akamai 2007), higher perceived trustworthiness (Nielsen 1999), and lower user frustration (Ceaparu et al. 2004). But, previous research has also found that differences in gender, age and computer self-efficacy can moderate user priorities. This article explores the differences among men and women in their desire for speed.
In a recent study of web design patterns, Dr. Melody Ivory found that accessibility is the most underutilized aspect of good web page design (Ivory 2005). In fact websites have become more complex and less accessible over time (Hackett 2003). Less than 20% of the Fortune 100 have websites that are fully accessible (Loiacono 2004). Accessible forms are one way to combat this disturbing trend. With CSS layout, you can create two-column forms without the use of tables to save space and time. This article shows how to create a simple two-column contact form using CSS to style structural elements that is both fast and accessible.