In todays culture both online and offline, looks and simplicity are what catches everyone’s attention. This is especially true for online interaction. A person’s attention is something to be earned. Most of us are attracted to visually enticing graphics and features that we can interact with, and therefore we will give that item our attention.
As a Small Business Online it is hard to compete with all the big name brands that have millions of dollars to spend on unlimited graphics and brand new custom built features for their websites. Then there is the fact that you literally only have about 2 seconds to keep any visitor from backing out of your website by giving them almost exactly what they are looking for and making it look cool at the same time.
Your website could be way outdated or way overboard. So how do you create a design that is visually enticing, generate visitor interaction, and doesn’t scare people off with too many flashing objects?
You need to think about your audience and what they are interested in. What would they like to see? Maybe you’re not sure who your audience is. Start planning your design around who you’d like to reach. Your design should reflect what kind of business you are and who you are reaching out to. The area you are in can have an effect on what site visitors will want to see. If you are based in Maine your design may need to implement some Northern Atlantic Old Shipyard aspects. If you are in Western Montana like we are, a Rustic Wilderness feel may be more what you need.
No matter your audience, too much info can deter anyone. If your site is hard to navigate with too many pages (or not enough) you’ll want to rethink your site structure. Make it easy for visitors to understand 1. Who you are. 2. What you offer. 3. How they can get it. 4. How they can interact with you in the future.
Your site also needs to be up to date with the latest technology. (This doesn’t mean you need to have some gadget that reads your visitors mind through their webcam). You should only use features that have proven useful and will bring you a return on investment. Features like these would include: 1. Mobile Responsive Design 2. Social Integration 3. (If you sell products) a mobile friendly store 4. Newsletter sign ups. 4. SEO friendliness.
The truth is you don’t need a million dollar website. What you need is a simple, eye catching design that matches your brand and audience and gives your visitors what their looking for. If you already have a website, maybe it’s time to do a little Conversion Optimization (the process of changing things on your website to make it more relevant to your audience and drive sales). Sometimes a complete website redesign is the best thing for your Business online.
Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the British Business Virgin Group, says this about the importance of design: “A well-designed space immediately says that you care about the details and that you want to contribute something fun and meaningful to your customers’ lives — it will help them to relax and talk about what they’re looking for.”
Have you seen a site recently that really drew you in and earned your attention? What did it have that made you stop and think or interact? Tell us about your Design challenges on twitter, @4brothersmedia.
- Josh Hallahan