One common question I get asked is: what makes websites good?

And even though this is such a prominent question, there is a simple answer which is still widely unknown:

User experience.

I’m going to cover good user experience example and best practices later on.

Let’s focus on the first thing for now.

The User – A stranger

The user, the person who visits your website, is an individual who is completely unique in his entirety.

The Website User

However users have similarities in different areas which can be categorized.

Disclaimer: For the sake of clarity and efficiency we will only focus on the aspects that are most interesting for us now.

Reasons. Your user has reasons to visit your particular website, which may be the same for other users as well.

Focusing on the reasons why users visit your website is therefore an efficient way to understand the purpose of your website.

Even more users have feelings towards your appearing. Feelings towards your website, towards your brand, sometimes even towards you. But also feelings that are not connected to you and your company. Feelings that emerge out of their current circumstances.

Focusing on the feelings that users have when visiting your website provides an effective way to make an emotional connection. To get on common ground and move things forwards, for the better of both sides.

To make your website good focus on these two aspects: reason and feelings.

Your Website – Your city

Imagine your website like a city clouded in mist. You are the major of this city. Therefore you know every street, every corner and every restaurant inside out.

Now a stranger approaches your city.

The City

Are there enough signposts? Is the city light bright enough? Does your city look inviting?

Will you be ready when your visitor needs help?

If you cannot answer these questions with a strong nod now, chances are that visitors get a bad feeling, even before entering your city. You may be the nicest major around but your potential visitor will never know, because he will just move on, to a city that is more convenient.

The Experience – Make it a ride

So how do you get users to enjoy your city?

Make him your best friend. Greet him, consider his feelings, take his hand,
let him know what you’re going to show him and guide him from one attraction to the next.

Remember the last time someone guided you and showed you everything of interest?

This is a good user experience.

Imagine a rollercoaster. Rollercoasters are typically exciting things. Excitement is also a strong motivating feeling.

Battlestar Galactica

You take your seat, close your seat belt and let it happen. You don’t need to think. You don’t need to make hard decisions. You let it happen and feel excitement through and through. Afterwards you might even be so pumped that you buy that ride’s live action photo, on which you are screaming and having a good time.

In business terms the rollercoaster owner just made an upsell when he handed the photo over to you.

Build your city, your website, like a roller coaster.

Take your users on an exciting ride and experience a world where sales, upsells and cross-sells magically happen.

This is what makes websites good.

I prepared a really small cheat sheet for you, where I listed all the important elements that need careful adjustments to make your site like a roller coaster.

You can download it below.