If you look at the speedometer of an automobile, you’ll probably notice that the top speed shown is higher than what’s allowed on any street or highway. In some cases, it’s much higher. As a practical matter, drivers don’t push their cars to the limit just because they can. Those who do, usually get into a lot of trouble.
The same principal applies to website design. There are all kinds of design elements that can be applied to a website – colors, fonts, graphics, video, audio, animation, etc. But just because you can use all those elements doesn’t mean you should.
The key is to use the right mix of design elements in order to…
Exhibit Your Brand
The first goal of your website should be to get your brand imagery in front of the visitor. That brand imagery, or logo, should be displayed on every page of the site, preferably at the top of the page. Placing it there leaves no doubt in the visitor’s mind about what your logo looks like. You want your logo to be visible, but it shouldn’t be screaming in the visitor’s face. Proportions are key. Creating a lasting image of your logo in the visitor’s mind will help him associate everything else he sees on your site with that image. Of course, whether that association is positive or negative depends on the perceived value of your site content, whatever that content happens to be. So…
Engage Your Visitors
The next important goal should be to engage your visitors. At its most fundamental level, visitor engagement involves them reading an article or product info of some sort, watching a video, or listening to an audio, preferably from start to finish. This is passive engagement, but can be very valuable. Remember, most people who use the internet are using it to find information. By engaging visitors with quality content, you are creating a level of trust, and that’s a critical step if your website is to ultimately…
Elicit the Desired Result
Whether your site is intended to generate leads, create sales, or something in between, achieving that desired result is really the ultimate visitor engagement – active engagement. It’s the whole point of publishing a website in the first place. At least it should be. But in order to achieve that result, you need to put just enough pressure on the accelerator of capability to get where you want to go. Just enough glitz to make the site catchy, without being garish; and just enough simplicity, without being boring.
Remember, just like the driver who overuses horsepower, overuse of website design elements can get you into trouble.