a standard situation
The website is a one-way communication channel.
Unlike ideas, a website has its limits
You can try to set the mood with colors, text, images, videos structure, but you would still be presenting, not conversing. What is more, communicating with clients gives you hints as to their present mood, need, and sometimes origin of interest. Studies show people behave differently even when communicating online vs. in person. If that difference is not tiny, imagine the difference between a customer entering your shop and entering your website. So, don't focus too much on being a warm and welcoming host online.
Focus on being a structured and informative one. Set the stage for a fast, and easy-to-use website environment. When that is done, you could also add your personal touch to reinforce the values of your brand, and the appreciation you have for your clients.
The Website - a door, corridor or an office?
The outlook of the website should be a function of its purpose. If it`s sales - create a short and straightforward path from visitor entry to checkout page. If it`s to establish contact - focus on providing numerous reasons for it and ways to connect. If it is for branding purposes - focus on the feel of your website. All of this, of course, does not mean that if one action is the target, then you should completely neglect other possible desired outcomes for your business, stemming from website visitor activities.
Think about it as a journey for the client to a desired target, and judge all elements on your website as primary assistants for the journey and secondary parts of the journey. For each element, ask yourself - is this one placed at the right part of the journey? Does it bring value for the customer, does it assist a decision or just refocus attention? Again - it is a one-way conversation street, and unlike a conversation, you have a finite amount of attention span within which to present yourself, your service or product and the reasons for making a decision about it.
As simple as it gets
CONCLUSION - WHERE TO NOW?
When developing a vision about a website outlook, there is no single go-to guide. There are good practices, and there is their online implementation. It is hard to be impartial when thinking of your own business, so think about the websites that you visit. It is far easier to critique other people's work, especially when we have no stake in its outcome. The point is, the list of improvements for other websites you visit would more often than not be made out of points of consideration for your own online presence, even when the line of business differs from your own.
So, be critical. Ask yourself questions. What would I like to see on that website? Is this bit of information necessary? Do I like the navigation? What about the colors? Take your questions and answers and put them against your website ideas. Your input matters. It matters to the developer building the website but crucially - it matters the most to your clients and partners, as they are the ones who would actually appreciate an effective and attractive website presence.
CONCLUSION - WHERE TO NOW?
The information above is very limited. It only touches the surface of a big sea of arguments. Some apply to your goals, others do not. Our goal - to get you to consider aspects of website conceptual development that matter to you and your business.
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