needs and wants!
Isn't a great looking site the same as an Effective, Compelling site?
The visual polish and presentation of a website (like so many other things in our lives) undoubtedly make an initial impact ... inviting us in for a closer look. However, as the saying goes, your audience (customers, clients, users) may come for the looks but will stay for (or be influenced by) the content / key messages, services / functionality, benefits, and ease-of-use. Aspects that will help them meet their specific needs & goals.
Knowing these various aspects that impact your target audience (influencing their future behavior including visits, actions and purchases) — along with their relative importance and how they fit together — is vital to achieving a well-balanced, effective and compelling redesign.
Components of an Effective AND Eye-Catching Website ReDesign
Visual Design (Colors/ Graphics/ Fonts ...) - is the aspect most easily & readily perceived by users - and focused upon by some web designers. However, it is but one of many elements of site Architecture & Design - that together determine the usefulness & usability of the site - and how often users will actually visit / return to the site.
A good way to appreciate this is to look back at some of the most successful and popular sites (in various categories e.g. News, Mail, Shopping, Entertainment, Banking, Trading, Education & Training, Online Services) .
Especially on their way to becoming famous - more so than after becoming famous (& cash rich!)
You will see that what's common is not any particular slick / polished / "flash"y look ... just as there isn't a movie or home decor style that is the "best" one. It's the combination of visual design elements along with other aspects such as functionality, content, ease-of-use etc. that together make an impact on your site visitors / prospective customers. And it is the fit with the purpose, audience and constraints (e.g. budget, pre-existing logos etc.) that make the combination a good & effective choice.
Of course, as the saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail! Thus, experts in a particular style may be very vocal (and persuasive) proponents of that style (visual or technical). But that may not be because it is the best choice for you or your users.
Thus, it is very valuable (both as a user and site publisher) to remember to consciously look beyond the visual design and focus on all the factors that influence the "effectiveness" of the site - i.e. whether the site meets the goals of the site publisher and the targeted audience / stakeholders.
Here is a quick listing of some of these other influential aspects (other than visual appeal): content (text + graphics), writing style, features & functionality, ease-of-use (aka user-friendliness, usability), freshness of content, responsiveness & absence of technical problems, site navigation / structure, ease of searching / finding specific items, how the site fares in comparison to similar sites ... and so on.
When all these elements / ingredients are shaped, balanced & integrated with the site's goals & target audience in mind, the final result can be a positive & rich user experience - and a high ROI for your organization's efforts.
That was a quick summary/ overview of what to look for / strive towards when you are building an effective and compelling website / portal - or when you are assessing a site's potential. To discuss your business / organization's situation, goals, options in detail, please contact us to get started.
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