Website Looks Aren’t Everything
Whether it be informational, transactional, or measured by leads and inquiries, every website has an objective. You might have the most stunning layout and site design in the world; the pride of your brand and envy of your competitors—but if it doesn’t accomplish its basic purpose, none of that matters.
A Website Needs to Work
A website needs to work. See beyond the pretty colors, animated icons, video backdrops and ask yourself, “Is this serving my audience in the most functional, efficient, and effective way possible?”
Take it from Craig
There’s no denying the power of elegant design. A gorgeous, flashy website can make even the most trivial products seem like the next big thing. However, design without function is merely a pretty billboard. Nothing should come before making sure your site behaves, performs, and operates the way it should to drive conversions. This sentiment has never held more true than it does on Craigslist.org. A wildly popular classifieds platform that has clearly rejected any tendencies toward fancy aesthetics—all while placing in the top 15 highest traffic sites in the U.S. year after year.
Of course, Craigslist is an extreme case. I don’t recommend launching a website with all black text, white background, blue links, and zero visual stimuli whatsoever. Although, you can’t deny its ease of use! There is no shame in having a beautiful site full of bells and whistles, as long as the design elements don’t hinder your visitors’ ability to do what you want them to do (buy a product, submit a form, subscribe to a newsletter, etc.)
Every Business is Different
We hear “make my site look like apple.com” quite often from new clients, and for good reason. It’s a handsome, million-dollar website—that is for sure. However, if you look closely at Apple’s homepage, you’ll notice there really isn’t much web design involved at all. They rely on a collage of exquisite photos of their ingenious devices to draw customers in. Unless Tim Cook is reading this blog post (Hey, Tim), you are not Apple. No, you are a law firm, a landscaping company, a jewelry store, a catering business, a fitness instructor… the point is, you need to find YOUR own balance between fashion and function when it comes to your website. Every industry is different; every business is different; and every visitor is different. There is no one-size-fits-all formula. It often takes some trial and error before you get it right. Be patient, listen to your customers, and try to remember; looks aren’t everything.