31 Jul 7 steps for ruining your new website experience
Do you know it takes 0.05 seconds (that’s 50 milliseconds) for an average viewer to make a judgement about your website? Given our shrinking attention spans, it is indeed plausible. In fact it’s this lack of attention of visitors that prods us to look for innovative approaches in web design. A web credibility research led by Stanford revealed around 75% of visitors accepted that they formed opinions about a company through its website design.
It’s not just your small business which has to deal with it, many successful brands have been doing it for long. Many have broken the norms, gone out of the way to charm, even distract the viewers and have ended up getting them hooked successfully.
Take for instance, the meteoric rise of Mashable and Pinterest. They’ve both broken the shackles of orthodoxy by distracting us from scores of regular designs. Time magazine included Mashable in the list of top 25 blogs of 2009. Since then, Mashable never looked back while many of its competitors from the same list fell by the wayside. Similarly, Pinterest was included in Time magazine’s post 50 website of 2011 that make the web Great.
Unless you create a design that’s different from what people normally consume, it’s difficult to distract them. So, here are a few pointers, that’d come in handy to crack the code.
If your brand has a character, great, incorporate it into your design. If it doesn’t, then figure out what it represents. A brand such as Redbull stand for adrenaline rush, living on the edge, high octane fun and excitement and so does its web design. Its patrons identify with this character of the brand.
If your product’s let’s say-Insurance, your design should identify with stability, safety, trust, so buyers can depend on you.
Whatever your brand represents must reflect in your web design too. It reiterates the character of your brand.
Choosing the color is pivotal to your web design. Color is not only about the aesthetics. It triggers emotions and holds subconscious connections with a variety of attributes. Red (Crimson) for instance, arouses passion, vigor and enthusiasm. Which is why it’s widely used by many ace brands, like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, to invoke enthusiasm among the minds of their patrons. Likewise all colors carry separate meanings.
Green is associated with environment, nature, good health and eco-friendliness. So, choose the color for your brand carefully. Find out about what you want your audience to identify with. Do take into account that different cultures relate with colors differently. It’s also better to make sure your color signifies what you think it signifies, in your industry.
Image Courtesy : https://www.flickr.com/photos/goincase/
Recall value is important. Twitter has it through it’s bird mascot. A Facebook like is recognizable no matter how small it is. Bottom line is you have to make the experience memorable for your visitors so be consistent with your visuals, signages, typography and colors, so it stirs up the same emotions and brand recall. Even the smallest of the things from your website must ensure it represents the same. For instance Skype uses a lot of blue (associating with sky), rainbow, even sounds, that tell you Skype is now on. And it had been consistently doing it since it came.
Image Courtesy : https://www.flickr.com/photos/tuckett/
This is again gravely important. You have to decide what emotion you want to evoke in people’s minds when they come to your website. It shouldn’t just be about following a trend. UNICEF‘s website invokes compassion for the neglected children of the world- their suffering and distress. Decide how you want your site to make an impact on this parameter.
5) Size and placement of the Logo-
The norm is to place the website’s logo at the upper left corner of the webpage. If your audience wants to see where they are, it’s here where they look at subconsciously. Another thing that’s regarded amongst the best practices is that the logo’s image should be next to the site’s homepage, sites like NBC news, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, CNET all have it in the same way.
6) Value proposition-
When people come visiting your website, for the first few moments they try to comprehend what the site’s all about. Does it interest them? So, offer a clear value proposition to your audience. They shouldn’t wander about cluelessly looking for it. It should be a concise statement spelling it out in clear terms. And better it is if it’s close to the site’s logo. Tell them what they can get in your site if you want them to keep coming back. For instance- eBay, clearly states next to their logo-‘Shop by category‘-indication enough to tell they’re at an eCommerce store.
It’s not just what you say, but how you say it, that matters. If your product is a luxury item, lets say a perfume then your tone should reflect sophistication. For instance Dolce and Gabbana carries a tone of panache. Similarly, if it’s a tech product then the lingo should be- fast, no nonsense, compatible with the youth and young professionals. For instance-iPhone, the webpage tells you everything you wish to know about the phone without wasting your time.
Stay focused on establishing a Brand value
Soft drink giant,’Pepsi’ was named after the digestive enzyme in our body- ‘Pepsin’. Adidas- the name was taken by its founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler whose first name was shortened to the nickname Adi. And together with the first three letters of his surname it formed Adidas.
It’s not only the name, it’s about finding your niche and going after it. And it doesn’t happen overnight. People take time to trust you. Let them do so. The brand promise of course remains central, so don’t ignore the quality of what you’re offering on the website even for a moment. One irksome experience is enough for a user to never return.
A great design, is the topmost requirement! And there are no shortcuts to it. We all have had endless discussions about how content is King, and how it can change the fortunes of your business. No one’s contesting it, but more than 90% first impressions are design based. The first look determines the initial fate of your website. You need to have a solid ideology behind your design, what you’re choosing and why. It’s like creating a place for your product in a supermarket shelf. In this case the supermarket is huge (it’s the whole web!). So, first locate your shelf. You’d find your competitor’s products already placed there. Finding a place is not the hard part, it’s bagging a place in your customer’s buying list. So, if your design is attractive, assuming your service/product isn’t overly priced and your site navigation is good, you might be given a chance to prove yourself.