Sun Print by Jon Nicholls.
The Squint Test tells you if your website is featuring what you want it to feature. It’s surprisingly easy, but ridiculously effective. Couple that with my favorite Grab-A-Friend and you’re website will be ready to go in no time.
The Squint Test
It’s pretty easy. You click over to your website and then walk away and don’t look at it for a minute. When you go back to the computer, approach the screen with your eyes all squinty like so your vision is blurry. Make note of the first two things you see on the screen without scrolling or opening your eyes. You can also approach with closed eyes and open them quickly and shut them quickly and see what areas of the screen you remember, but I like the squinting better. The two things you saw are the two things that are drawing the most attention on your site. If that’s a random link or a picture of your dog, you might have some work to do. A good rule is to focus attention on your art, where they go to buy your art, or your email opt-in box.
You’re much too close to your website. So have a friend or family member, preferably someone who hasn’t really seen your website before, navigate the site for you. Give them a task like purchasing one of your quilts. Tell them to click around the site and get to know things first and write down their thoughts (good and bad) about how easy it is to get around and figure out what you do and all that. Then have them “purchase” one of your pieces up until they input their credit card information. Give them a pencil and paper so they can write whatever they need to. Then, here’s the most important thing, leave them alone while they do it. Go into the other room and bake them some cookies as a thank you. Don’t hover over them and please, please, please don’t help them get around your site.
These two methods are absolutely killer for figuring out where your website’s weak points are. I like to do them several times while I’m building a site and then about twice a year after the site is finished. It’s good routine maintenance to ensure your site always looks its best and drives visitors exactly where you want them to go.