Summer is in full bloom and with it, some serious beauty provided by Mother Nature. Beauty comes in so many shapes and sizes; from a perfect cut (the first time) to a flower in bloom to your website…yes, your website.
There’s a saying that form follows function, coined by some architect in the 1800’s, his name I forget, but his point I do not.
The form of your website has to provide functionality to your reader. Here’s an example. I am house hunting, and this week I looked at a house that had a door off of a hallway. You open the door and are immediately presented with a 20-foot drop to the ground. Seems there was supposed to be a deck built but it never happened, but they installed the door first.
That is a bad case of form following function
A website that is over-designed to simply “look” good, many times loses its purpose and function while focusing on just being beautiful.
If you don’t bake into the design how users are going to use the site, and instead just opt for making it pretty, you’ve created a white elephant for yourself.
If you designed the site for form and appearance, hoping that functionality will take care of itself, then you are probably seeing the results in a drop in your conversion rate.
Why does this happen?
Because beauty distracts, it does it in nature and it does it in web design. If a user comes to your site but doesn’t know what to do or how to do it, it is harming your business, not helping it.
You see, a visually overloaded site or sites with a lot of “flash” lack the simplicity needed to keep from confusing visitors.
We see websites that are needlessly complex all the time and I understand how it happens. It is so much easier to add things to a site than it is to take things away. People often see a white space and think, “we’ve got to fill that with something” when the white space is just fine.
Focus on a constituency of one
How do you avoid site bloat? Keep this one thing in mind; focus all of your website’s features on the user. The person using the site is the most important ingredient in this stew. The best ways to do that are:
- Plan the purpose of your site BEFORE you decide on the look
- Make the purpose of your site crystal clear the minute they hit your site
- Simple is always, always, always better
- Make the next step on each page crystal clear as well
You want to make a great-looking site that works. Don’t ever sacrifice your reader for design aesthetics…if you want your site to deliver leads. If you don’t care about generating leads with your website, then do whatever you want.
But if your website is supposed to help you generate additional new business, then pay attention to these tips.
If you think your website has gotten away from you, make sure you take a serious look at it and give it a solid critique.
So that’s it…just like your day job where making things useful comes first, do the same with your web presence and I promise, your lead generation will improve a lot!