What they actually do most of the time (if we’re lucky) is glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. There are almost always large parts of the page that they don’t even look at.
“billboard going by at 60 miles an hour.”
Innovate when you know you have a better idea, but take advantage of conventions when you don’t.
You may have been taught that each paragraph has to have a topic sentence, detail sentences, and a conclusion, but reading online is different. Even single-sentence paragraphs are fine.
Things You Need to Get Right
Unlike lower-level pages, the Home page has to appeal to everyone who visits the site, no matter how diverse their interests.
They haven’t made it clear enough what the site is.
“Attention Web Designers: You Have 50 Milliseconds to Make a Good First Impression!”)
Don’t use a mission statement as a Welcome blurb.
Don’t confuse a tagline with a motto,
And because these reactions are happening at a brain-chemical level, it’s very difficult for them to imagine that everybody doesn’t feel exactly the same way.
ALL WEB USERS ARE UNIQUE AND ALL WEB USE IS BASICALLY IDIOSYNCRATIC
The point is, it’s not productive to ask questions like “Do most people like pull-down menus?” The right kind of question to ask is “Does this pull-down, with these items and this wording in this context on this page create a good experience for most people who are likely to use this site?”
..focus groups are best used in the planning stages of a project. Usability tests, on the other hand, should be used through the entire process.