In the last blog we talked about making an emotional connection with your audience through your website, so this week we wanted to delve a little deeper and talk about the thing most people associate with the user-friendliness of a website—design and functionality. These are the two things that will give visitors an immediate opinion when they first arrive at your website. What that opinion will be is all in the details.
The first impression a visitor will have will be from the look of the design. Does the site look dated? Does it use cheesy graphics or absurd stock photos? Are there way too many graphic elements or hardly any at all? Is the color palette garish? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ then you are more likely to create a negative first impression and visitors won’t stay to visit any other parts of your site.
Internet users are becoming more and more savvy and are accustomed to exceptionally well-designed websites. If a site doesn’t measure up visually at first glance, then a connection won’t be made and a potential customer could be lost. A modern-looking website should have a clean design with a limited number of colors. Graphics and images should flow with the overall clean-look of the design without making the site look cluttered. The content should also be current and relevant.
If you’ve hooked your new visitor with a professional, up-to-date design, the next thing to consider is navigability. This is the functionality part of your website. If you have made that emotional connection to a new visitor in the first fifteen seconds, then you need to impress them with how quick and easy it is to find the information they are looking for. The navigation vehicles should be easy to find. The language or images used to navigate should be intuitive and not cause a visitor to pause and think. You want the user to click through to what they need immediately, not have to stop and think about it. That might cause them to click away.
Both design and functionality mean putting the needs of your audience above your own when it comes to the way your company’s website is framed. By creating a website specifically for potential and current clients, you can show them that you are really there to be of service to them. With good design and functionality, you can capture their attention, and hopefully their loyalty.