Common memes and why they have value

http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?cc=US&ts_mode=country&lang=none

Look at the top 10 or so websites on that list.

You will notice common themes amongst them:

  1. Links are BLUE. And underlined. You know EXACTLY what a link is, and what isn’t.
  2. Navigation is on the left primarily. Sometimes on the top. NEVER BOTH.
  3. NAVIGATION is distinct from CONTENT

Keep in mind:

They are popular, therefore, many users have come to expect those sorts of behaviors from other sites.

CONTENT IS KING. People are interested in content in a medium they feel is active. They don’t want to sit back and be dazzled. They want to interact and discover. And they want to interact in ways they have come to understand. That means FOLLOW THE EXPECTATIONS OF USERS!

A frustrated user is a lost customer. Users are not savvy. They don’t want to scrub. They don’t want to figure out things.