Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

UK Property Investment news and comments from Mark Harrison of – site overhaul

Posted by Mark Harrison on November 17, 2006

Today has been busy at Harrison towers.

When I was recording the original (2004) version of the UK Property Millionaire for Nightingale Conant, it seeme sensible to set up a website, and mention it on the programme.

Over the past two years, you’ve been visiting in increasing numbers – initially to get the free downloads mentioned in the progamme (the deal analyser and the property survey form), then signing up to the newsletter.

As time has gone by, I’ve added some more features – the newsletter now goes out with an audio recording for those who want to listen rather than read… there are a whole bunch more downloads (including several hours of audio and a fair bit of video)… there’s a list of appearances (including many free events) for those who would rather see me live… and most importantly, there are two years worth of back issues of the newsletter (albeit delayed a few months from the initial emailing out so those who subscribe have first dibs.)

However, what I’d not really worked on for almost two years was the site navigation. The kind of layout that works for a small site with a couple of downloads and half-a-dozen articles doesn’t really work for something with much more info.

I’d been planning to give it a makeover for a while, and today was the day.

The model I followed was that in Steve Krug’s “Dont’ make me think“, my all-time favourite book on web design for ease of navigation. If you want to understand how people really use websites, and how you can optimise them for visitors who will stay, then this is the number one place to start in my opinion.

Steve’s key message is that your site visitors don’t spend lots of time reading your finely-crafted prose, instead they scan your site, looking to see what happens next, make up their minds quickly whether this is the right site, and then work out where to go. This, by the way, is why I’m a bit of contrarian about the importance of finely crafted “sales letters” sites just being written as long bits of prose, and instead tend to split my sales sites across multiple pages so that visitors can see what they need quickly.

Hopefully, the new makeover on won’t make you think, either. If you go there, then hopefully you’ll find what you need quickly – be that articles, downloads, or links to other products.

Oh, and just to make it easier still, I’ve added Google SiteSearch – to let you search the site, or this blog (or if you prefer, the whole Internet.)


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