One thing he said that I felt was quite interesting was that he said too many sites are way to big. He gave the example of website designers. He mentioned that WS designers have a tendency to "lecture" to people on their websites and that they stuff their sites full of 'articles' and informative resources in the belief that this is appropriate and effective SEO for google, and that visitors will consider this wonderful information to be so valuable that they will be grateful to the designer and decide to get him to make their website. He said e-commerce sites are possibly twice as large as they need to be, and that it is ludicrous to think that visitors to the site will actually read more than 2 pages. He said he personally gets frustrated by all the small print navigation bars that not only run along the top of the site, but also down the side, and he expressed that navigation bars are difficult to navigate on iphones and that we should abandon the navigation bar.
He summarised by saying design sites so that they are picture rich, not text rich, use big pictures, make sure every picture can be touched and linked to somewhere else that has significance to the visitor, the fold is null and void, and throw away the navigation bar as it no longer has a place in new technology.
I actually like nav bars, and I personally spend about 5 minutes on each site I visit, but speaking with my sons and their friends last night about the lecture, they agreed with the web designer. They are avid iphone users and access websites mainly from their phones. They said they only spend enough time on a site to get an overall picture of what is going on, they get the contact info, and that's all. They said they will stay on a site if the site looks appealing, but most importantly they will stay on the site if they can move around it easily, for example by touching pictures or large text panels to navigate on the site. They said they leave a site if they need to expand a nav bar to be able to read it, and they felt nav bars and subsequent menus are too fiddly to mess around with on their phones. They said they prefer text to be in point form, and they want the text to get straight to the crux of what the site is about. They agreed with the lecturer that big pictures that tell the story immediately entice them to stay on a site. Interestingly, they said they found sites designed for mobile phones to be a bit boring. They preferred sites designed for PCs that do not have nav bars, but also designed with touch-users in mind. They are not interested in slideshows or moving text or anything too fancy on a site. My sons and their friends are in their twenties and early thirties, and this is the demographic that the designer said we should be aiming to please as they are the biggest consumers on the planet and are probably our clients.
I would be interested to hear from others on this subject, and Frances if you think this should be moved elsewhere please feel free to pop it wherever you feel is more appropriate.