You know a powerful website design when you see it. The moment it appears on-screen, it grabs you. You can't look away. It might even provoke emotions -- even if you have no knowledge about the website's purpose and content.
The wonderful thing about web design is that, whether your business is big or small, you can create a powerful website if you keep three principles in mind.
(And, frankly, you'd be surprised to learn how many big companies fail to follow these principles.)
1. Capture Attention, Yes, But Also Capture Emotion
Nobody likes cheap gimmicks. They might appeal to base emotions and impulses and get the better for us for a moment, but when the cheap gimmick is found out, visitors to a website will lose respect for you.
Sadly, many web designers resort to cheap gimmicks to fulfill this first principle in design. Whether it's over-the-top, dishonest click-bait or some outrageous image that has no intelligent or resonating connection to the product or service of the company, gimmicks might capture our attention, but they leave us feeling manipulated.
Capturing emotion, however, is something different, when it is done right. Brian Sheehan, the author of the marketing masterpiece "Loveworks," explains this idea:
The sea change comes when brands stop thinking about their customers as "them" and start thinking about "us." When marketers make this change, they start rewarding their customers every day with brand experiences that have special resonance in three key areas: mystery [i.e. storytelling, tapping into a customer's dreams, using myths and icons], sensuality [incorporating the five senses], and intimacy [commitment, empathy, and passion].*
When you think of your customers as "us," you step out of your wants and needs, and you see the world through their wants and needs. You identify with them.
That new perspective provides clues. It shows you what will truly capture attention and emotion in a way that rewards the visitor -- even makes their day a little brighter and more enjoyable in some way -- yet still very relevant to your product or service.
2. Communicate Well with Recent Information
Always provide relevant, up-to-date information about your company that your visitors will find helpful and interesting -- especially if something is happening with your company that customers would want to know about.
This might seem like something too obvious to mention, but it is shocking how many companies, even the biggest ones, fail to do this. Of course, some of this comes from arrogance, but, in other cases, it's simply baffling.
Take Apple, for instance. You might be surprised to learn that their website ranked #58 (not a good ranking) on Bowen Craggs & Co. 2013 list of the world's best corporate websites.
Why mention the list from 2013?
Because that's when Apple had the massive headline-on-every-news-outlet story regarding the alleged tax evasion -- an allegation that forced CEO Tim Cook to testify before the U.S. Senate.
While the drama was unfolding, Apple offered no news updates on their website about the issue. But, as Forbes writer Susan Adams pointed out, that wasn't the only problem; there were other head-scratching issues with Apple's site:
...there is no link to basic corporate information on its homepage, no “about” page on the company, and no link to the compelling story of how the company was founded by genius Steve Jobs and grew to be the largest American business in market capitalization.
In the same Forbes article, Adams contrasted Apple's handling of their allegation drama with how BP handled their massive oil spill scandal in the Gulf of Mexico using their website: "Within days of the spill it made its site a repository for news on quelling the spill and starting cleanup efforts. At one point BP.com became one of the most visited sites in the world on Gulf spill news, competing with CNN."
Always strive to communicate well, and never underestimate the power of giving up-to-date, relevant information.
3. Now that You Have Momentum, Don't Forget to Persuade
When you've got a powerful design that captures both attention and emotion and communicates well with pertinent information, you've got momentum on your side.
Don't waste it.
Always call your visitors to action; and preface your clear call to action with persuasive arguments: highlight what makes your service unique by presenting your Unique Selling Proposition clearly and boldly.
In some cases with some industries there really isn't any tangible difference between your product and the multitudes of other products exactly like it. If you're in an overcrowded market like that with little difference between products, create a Unique Selling Proposition.
For example, highlight the amazing, stand-out customer service that your company offers or make a claim about your product in a unique, memorable way that your competitors have failed to point out about their products.
Of course, you can have the greatest ideas and selling propositions in the world, but if you're not able to realize them in a webpage, you're stuck. It helps to have a talented team of engineers, analysts, and designers at your disposal when you need business website development. Using our unique Agile method, which allows for powerful adaptability and transparency for the customer, we have all the right tools to create powerful web design. Contact us to find out more.
Let's build something amazing.
*Sheehan, Brian, "Loveworks" (New York: powerHouse books, 2014), 16, 17.