One of the main points of interest from the lesson is the importance of developing content and usability for my audience. Understanding what frustrates my audience can help me avoid doing so. Keeping things factual and succinct while providing information that my audience is seeking will build trust. A second point is the necessity of providing a call to action that provides a sense of reciprocity. People are not likely to provide any usable information or feedback if they do not feel they are getting something out of it. They are also unlikely to provide information if they do not understand why or for what purpose they are providing it. The third point, and one that I am intending on implementing is to keep the home page fresh. Currently my home page has not changed since I launched the site. I am now considering how I can make this page fresh for returning visitors as well as relevant and engaging for new visitors.
One of the topics I would like to know more about is incorporating interactive content. I would be interested in seeing how others have used interactive content in a portfolio site to engage their audience and to build a sense of reciprocity. Right now my website is basically my contact information, tagline, resume, and examples of projects. This may be somewhat helpful if an employer or customer is already interested in me, but as far as networking goes it does not provide a way to connect aside from links to other social networking sites and my email address. I would be interested in creating a networking tool that would allow me to not only connect with potential employers, but also to other individuals and groups that I may be working with now or in the future. I had not previously considered this as a goal for my site. Perhaps this would include links to organizations, networking opportunities, conventions, or other means of connection. Perhaps reviews or recommendations would be helpful as well.
I have gone to websites that have frustrated me and either given up and never returned, or struggled through in hopes I could find my way through the frustration. I have often wished that the website designers had thought things through more carefully before implementation. I would prefer that my visitors would not have to face these decisions. By understanding my audience, providing a sense of reciprocity, keeping things simple and easy to navigate, and providing the information my audience is seeking I am certain that I can implement improvements to my user's experience.