Where you place the light switches on your site matters a great deal!

Where you place the light switches on your site matters a great deal!

Right now I’m working with an architect as a new client – my role is to help guide him through the process from the strategy all the way through to his website design. One of the early task I have been concentrating on is focused on research. We’re looking at all kinds of things, but in particular we’re looking at what other architects are doing.

And that brings me to the point of this post. As I was reviewing one site I commented to my client that while a particular attribute might be interesting, unfortunately from a web usability perspective it was problematic because the site owner had completely broken away from standard convention in such a dramatic way that it was actually hard to achieve the goal of this particular page (in the case of this page it was to click on something.)

As I observed this particular instance I explained to my architect client the following for why this particular site could have done better:

this would be akin to putting the light switches for a new home in unexpected places

As an architect he of course knows better. Even thought the light switch might still work, if it is hidden under the window sill across the room, can we honestly say that it still “works?”

Of course we all face this same issue in our own sites on many different levels. So I’ll put it to you – do you have light switches in the right places?