Web sites are like applications I think we're already moving towards the concept of 'task-oriented websites'. Sure, we know applications are all about tasks: uploading an image, adding a note, changing some profile information and so on, but even what we might term the more 'traditional' business web sites are not there to be simply looked at and admired. Even if your users aren't there to buy something from your site the chances are that they're there to accomplish something, whether that's watch a video, subscribe to your newsletter, read a blog or simply send you an email. That means everything you do with your design should be there to support the user on that journey. So if you want to give your users - and these could be customers you want to retain or prospects you want to acquire - a good overall experience then you need to make it easy for them to do what they need to do.So here's a few simple pointers:
Provide clear navigation Users get used to things being in a certain place. Don't go against convention unless there is good reason to do so.
Consider pathways If your research suggests people want to quickly get to a page with your price list on it then provide a clear pathway to that content.
Refine the content Some of your 'signpost' content should help the user to make decisions, make sure it isn't superfluous, ambiguous or simply serving the purpose of adding clutter.
Consider different devices Don't make it difficult to for users to see and accomplish their goals on your site when they're on mobile devices.
Clear 'Call to Actions' Each page should have one because each page is a vehicle that drives user and business objectives.
Focusing on users is good business A website with due care and consideration given to user experience and usability is going to reflect well on your brand. For many business web sites it's really important to focus on the user above all other considerations, if you don't then the chances of them staying or returning will diminish, and they might just (ahem!) surf away on the tide.