Website Usability & Best Practices
CWAEN: Internet Marketing Learning Circle
November 13, 2008
Erin West, VP of Arts Marketing
• Review Best Practices
• Understand site evaluation factors
• Evaluate arts websites
First Generation (1996 ‐1998)
The online brochure
Second Generation (1999 ‐ 2001)
Selling tickets & membership via allocation or other methods
Third Generation (2002 ‐ present)
Integrated ticket sales, memberships, subscriptions, contributions,
Next Generation (2007 and beyond)
Optimization of web channel to maximize revenues and reduce cost
of sales; expanding the digital channel to deepen connection with
Next Generation Philosophy
Approached from strategic perspective
Integrated with organization business plan
Recognized as important sales & communication
Decentralized management of content
Driven by desire to maximize performance
Steve Krug’s Laws of Usability
1. Don’t Make Me Think
• Self‐evident. Obvious. Self‐Explanatory.
• We don’t read pages. We scan them.
• Create clear visual hierarchy.
2. It doesn’t matter how many clicks, as
long as each is a mindless choice.
3. Get rid of half the words on each page,
then get rid of half of what’s left.
Criteria for Discussing Online Design
• Relevance: Is it relevant to a visitor’s
• Effectiveness: Can a visitor accomplish
• Impact: Will the visitor care?
• Who are the intended visitors?
• What are their goals and needs?
• Do content and functionality address the
goals and needs?
• Are most important things obvious?
• Are content areas organized clearly?
• Is navigation easy?
• Does the site use consistent
• Can user seek help if lost or confused?
• Are the business goals being met?
• Is there something surprising?
• Is functionality compelling enough to
bring visitors back?
• Is the content memorable?
• How does the online experience
contribute to the total experience?
• Are users encouraged to share their
experience with others?