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Design Matters – Making Your Website a Better Experience

Design matters because engagement matters.

At least, it does if you want your website to work as a marketing tool.

Your website’s visual design must present your company and your services with your audience’s perspective and expectations in mind. It must match your brand image. If you’re a solid, stable company with a decades-long track record and a reputation for reliability, the edgy, hip design you of an upstart brand won’t work. Best case, it will make you look like a parent trying too hard to be cool around your teenager’s friends.

At the same time, you don’t want to be the proverbial fast-talking used-car salesman. There’s no need to tell your audience everything they could ever possibly want to know about you on your home page. (Or any other single page on the website.)

Don’t be afraid of white space and drawing your audience into your site one step at a time. They’ll appreciate that as they usually wants to know different things about you at different times.

Yes, they’re going to be interested in your centuries of combined experience and impressive alma maters – but not until you’ve made them care by demonstrating that you can help them solve their problem. Address that first. Keep your content short and simple, and then dive into the 1,950 word treatise on, say, user experience.

(1,950 is not a number chosen at random. It’s the average length of top-ranked pages on search engine results pages. Other metrics are important, as well, but length does matter …)

Of course, if you’re going to go that long, you’d better break up the copy with great visuals, bullet points, sub-heads and other eye candy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an involved infographic with crazy-high production values, but it does have to help keep your web pages from looking like your average “terms & conditions” document.

It’s not just about graphics, though! The power of visual design is blunted if your message isn’t clear, your content is intuitively organized, or your site doesn’t load quickly and lay out properly for all mobile and desktop devices.

Finally, don’t forget the calls to action. They need to be well-designed, too. Your audience is on your website because they’re looking for information. Give them the opportunity to dig deeper – and to create a deeper relationship with you by having obvious – and obviously beneficial – calls to action on all informational pages on your website.

Article contributed by Andrew Schulkind @ Andigo New Media