Why design matters
Your website is your virtual shop window. It’s the first impression most people who are going to interact with your business will have of you.
Remember, people make snap judgements. We all do it all the time and websites are no exception. It takes about half a second for users to form an opinion about your website that will determine if they engage with you.
Before users even read the first line of content, before they have determined what you do, they will have made a knee-jerk judgement about your business based on the look and feel of the website. Make the design compelling, professional, reflective the tone of your business and make it simple. Research shows that the better the first impression, the longer the user stays on a website.
Invest in bespoke design.
It’s important that your website reflects your specific business in tone and design. For example, if you are a children’s party entertainer, the design of your website will hopefully be substantially different from, say, a solicitor specialising in wills and probate.
Make sure you invest time and money in a bespoke design for your website and avoid the temptation to cut costs by using a template and putting your logo at the top. Chances are that template says very little about you as a business will not differentiate you in a busy marketplace and certainly will not reflect your values and key selling points.
Just as your content needs to say how you differ from your competitors, so your website design needs to reflect this difference too.
Great design builds user trust
Great design gets users to trust your business and to further explore the site. Poor design create mistrust.
A recent study showed that authenticity is one of the top qualities that would attract customers to a brand. Trustworthiness is a huge aspect in conversions. In a crowded marketplace brand trust is becoming a more and more important quality. Investment in design can build a positive first impression and that in turn can lead to higher conversion whatever that might be, customers purchasing online or simply choosing to engage with you via email or phone.
How to make a great first impression with visual design
- Decide on the tone of your business and reflect that in your colours, typography, imagery, content and layout. Are you corporate, classic, silly, chic, modern, friendly, cosy?
- Make a list of terms that define your business and check them against the design of the website.
- Don’t just go to competitors websites and assume because they are successful you should carbon copy their web presence. You are trying to convey what makes your business unique which you won’t do by copying your competitors designs.
- Make sure the visual identity of the website is given as much thought as the content and features of the site.
Visual appeal matters. Don’t try to save money on design but getting a templated website. People form their opinion about your site in milliseconds. The first second on your website might matter more than all the seconds that follow. Make sure that one second makes a great first impression.