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Knowing the Mind of the Netizen for a Successful Web Design

Brian

Consider this: 15 minutes before your lunch break ends, many would think that you are away from your desk, maybe stretching your legs. The truth is you are glued to your screen. At this time, you are probably thinking, “Good! I still have time to check my Facebook! Oooh! I need to harvest my crops in my virtual farm!” Guilty! Don’t tell me you’re not! Everybody surfs the net, whether we need to do some research or just want to throw away fractions of our lives in a virtual trash bin. So now, the question is, what do we, netizens, look for online? Why do we spend countless of hours, money, and time glued to that screen? And how can we use this knowledge for our business? The answer is: THERE IS NO EXACT ANSWER. Despite the lack of a concrete answer, we must continue to consider the question, especially during web and drupal development, and particularly during web design. After all, the survival of your business may depend on it. Once you know what’s in the netizen’s mind, you can then create your niche in the virtual world.

The Right Topic

  • One way of getting close to the answer is by getting the results of surveys and finding out trends. For example, below are some of 2010’s most popular Google searches:
  • Facebook/Facebook login/facebook.com/www.facebook.com
  • YouTube/youtube.com
  • Hotmail/hotmail.com/MSN/MSN Hotmail
  • Yahoo/yahoo.com/Yahoo mail/yahoomail
  • Google/google.com/Gmail/Google Maps/maps/Google Translate
  • Ebay
  • Orkut (social networking operated by Google)
  • Porn
  • Sex
  • Amazon
  • Craigslist
  • MySpace
  • Pornhub
  • XNXX (porn)
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • Xvideos
  • 4shared (file sharing and storage)
  • Xhamster (porn)
  • AOL
  • Baidu (Chinese search engine)
  • BCC
  • Chatroulette (dating site)
  • ESPN
  • Games

As you can see, we do not really search for world peace or even anything that has to do with religion. Rather, we are interested in Love and Relationship, Money Matters, News (including entertainment news), Sex (it never runs dry), Social Sites, and Games, just to name a few. Finding a relevant subject that is also one of your interests is crucial to success. A notable item on the list is ChatRoulette, since it is the fastest rising search in 2010. This website lets a user pair up with another from anywhere in the world. The mediums of communication are video, chat, or text. At any point during the conversation, a user can opt to exit (should they find the other person bland and lifeless), and initiate another chat! With a catchy name and the promise of “a risky game of chance”, people get drawn to it. From this, we see that a novel idea can go a long way!

The Most Time Consuming Online Activity

If you take a bird’s eye view of it, we generally go online to interact with people, amuse ourselves, and to get information on whatever our interests are. In fact, according to Nielsen.com, most of our time online is spent on these three activities: social networking, playing games, and sending or receiving emails. But don’t lose hope! Even if what you are offering is not part of the top tree online activities, you still can get something out of this. Because now you know where to post your ads to direct customers to your site!

The Right Content

Aside from providing the right venue for the most interesting topic, ever wonder why people love checking the popular sites above? It’s because more often than not, people find what they are looking for there. Google, for example, usually leads you where you want to go; and Wikipedia is usually the best place to look for comprehensive information. So it is important that at the stage of web design or web development, you consider and deliver your audience’s wants and needs the best that you can. Once they are at your site, keep them there. Just like with any business, its foundation is research. In web development, the information that you put in your website can make or break you. Great web designs are not just a façade, but more importantly, a means to draw in customers.

References:

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1711156/what-do-people-want-online http://seattleorganicseo.com/sosblog/most-popular-searches-what-do-people-want-online/ http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/what-americans-do-online-social-media-and-games-dominate-activity/

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