Stop looking at my design

So your website is looking a little tired and you want a beautiful new design.  It’ll give your business just the boost it needs.  It will really freshen things up.

Really?

Stop a minute.  What’s your website there to do?  Impress people with its good looks or prompt visitors to action?  The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but in 99% of cases, I’m guessing you want the second option more.

Which is why how your website looks is not so very important.  Design isn’t just about making things look pretty.  It isn’t even mainly about making things look pretty.  It’s about sorting out how that website is going to function.  How it’s going to deliver results.

So before you dive head first into a new design, run through these questions…

  • Who is your audience?  And by that I mean the ones that are actually going to help you achieve something.
  • What is your message to this audience?
  • What do you want these people to end up doing before they leave your website?
  • What compelling content do you have that will cause people to take that action?
  • What signposts do you have in place on your website to guide people in the right direction – towards that compelling content?
  • What mechanisms do you have to direct people from one piece of content to another?
  • What calls to action do you have in place that will prompt visitors to take that final step towards the goal?

You’ll notice none of the above are about how pretty your website looks.  An ugly, well designed site will achieve more than a pretty site with a flaky design.

So, stop looking at the design and start using it – because that’s what you want your visitors to do.

Isn’t it?

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