Give them what they want

Facepainting (my son) at the French Market La Cigale, Auckland

Facepainting (my son) at the French Market La Cigale, Auckland

Earlier today I got an email from my mum. She'd been at the school fair where she bought "the usual" - fudge, cupcakes, fresh produce plus a sausage sizzle. 

It got me thinking about expectations. It might seem boring and you might even think you'd like to try something new but the reality is you just want the same. For each situation we have a set of expectations. Imagine going to a movie and not being able to get a choc-top Icecream. Actually I still remember the horror of going to a movie with a boy from school, you know a date. He bought chocolate-covered raisins and turned down the choc-top. Needless to say we were not on the same wavelength. 

At a school fair we expect fudge, sold in recycled yogurt pottles. Or facepainting.

We also have expectations about businesses. It's especially important for web-based businesses to have exactly what the visitors expect. Think about it next time you visit a new website that you're really excited about finding.

Take this one for instance. Go and take a look now. I guarantee the first thing you will want to know is WHERE this gorgeous cakery is located. The next thing you might want to learn is how to order. How much these scrumptious treats are. What they're made of. Who makes them?

Minimum Requirements

At a minimum the pages for a website are an About page or some kind of company information. I prefer an about page that actually tells me about the people who run the show, not just what they do. I also suggest you have Contact page and/or display your email address prominently so that people can get in touch easily.

What other pages do you consider essential? 

If yours is a shopping site then it simply must have a clearly laid out Shipping FAQs page - people want to know how much it's going to cost to deliver and especially people like me, who live outside the USA want to know where you ship to. 

If you're an artist then you must have a Portfolio and a page that lets prospective clients know how to work with you or buy your stuff.

To humanise your site then a BLOG is a standard item these days.  Nectar and Stone uses Instagram and Pinterest to inject some personality and give us a peek into her creative mind in place of a blog, this works well since her pictures are beautiful and kind of speak for themselves.

Now it's your turn to give your site a little critique. Is everything where it's expected to be?