You may not be able to measure the “look and feel” of your website in a quantitative way, but ensuring that the design and functionality of your website fits your business or organization can directly affect the successful cultivation of your web presence.
My Website Just Doesn’t Feel Right, Although It Is Perfectly Functional. What Is Wrong?
Your website may be functional and presentable, but what if it just doesn’t feel right to you? The problem may be that the “look and feel” of your website isn’t appropriate for your business or organization. In order to determine a better “look and feel” to your website, it is important to determine the proper image of your company or organization that you want to convey to your customers.
Yogurt Yuphoria is an example of a website whose design perfectly correlates with their business. Their spiraling logo reminds people of the spinning yogurt dispensers while their color scheme is fun and bright, which not only conveys the feel of their business, but the attitude of the owners.
Corporate Websites And Marketing
Although we aren’t all artists, designers and visionaries, we can usually tell by instinct whether or not a business or organization successfully conveys a proper image to the public at large. Larger companies and organizations contract and hire experienced professionals to design every aspect of their image, advertisements and marketing material – from logos, corporate slogans, official color schemes and mascots to the design and layout of both physical and virtual storefronts and workspaces. Therefore it is usually a given that when visiting the website of a large company or organization, you will be presented with a site that correctly imparts the exact “look and feel” that the company or organization intended to convey.
Your Site’s Aesthetic
For smaller companies and organizations, who often do not have the funds available to continually hire or contract the same experienced professionals as their larger counterparts, the possibility exists that the “look and feel” of their website does not convey the proper and intended image to their customers. Perhaps a substandard web designer was initially hired to build the site, or perhaps a representative of the company or organization previously made unreasonable or distasteful decisions regarding its design.
It is also possible that the website in question is out-of-date – perhaps it was built and designed at a time when web browsers and technologies were more limiting. Finally, many small business websites are personally built and designed by an owner or manager with little to no experience with professional website design. Whatever the reason, it is important to recognize when your website is conveying the wrong image of your business – but how do you go about recognizing the exact problems that need to be fixed?
Where Do I Begin?
Before you begin studying and critiquing your existing website, start by writing up a list of attributes that you believe best describe your business or organization and the image you want to convey to your customers. Then prepare a separate list of attributes you believe optimally describe a business or organization within the same industry – what traits would you look for in a similar business to yours if you were a hypothetical customer or client? Compare the two lists and look for both similarities and differences. If you are a medical professional or manage a medical office, you probably listed attributes like “trustworthy”, “comforting” and “competent”. If you are a lawyer or manage a law practice, you may have listed attributes like “professional”, “commanding” and “successful”. If you are a musician or artist, you probably listed attributes like “creative”, “original” and “entertaining”.
Look For Differences
Now look for significant differences between the two lists. You may have noticed that certain attributes that are a positive fit for one type of company or organization may be a poor fit for another. If you are a doctor, but you want to convey that your practice is “creative” or “commanding”, you may want to reassess the image you wish to present of your business; potential customers may not want a “creative” or “commanding” doctor, but rather one that is trustworthy and comforting.
Correlation Is Necessary
A business or organization with an incoherent or inappropriate image may find that image directly correlates to an incoherent or inappropriate website design. For example, the website of a design firm should be creative and original, but a company selling industrial machinery may confuse and frustrate their customers with a creatively-designed storefront or catalog. Furthermore, a financial services professional or company with a gaudy or disorganized site layout may convey an unfortunate image to potential clients of inexperience or even incompetence.
Assess Your Current Website
Once you have determined exactly how you want to present your company or organization, it is time to assess your current website. When you first view the homepage of your website, what do you think visitors and potential customers will internalize as their first impression? If you are a medical professional or practice, does your website have comforting colors and a spacious layout? Do the images and layout of your content impart competence and trustworthiness? If you are an artist, is your website creative and original? Does it correctly convey to visitors your artistic vision and personal design aesthetics? Does your website prominently feature your artistic work in a manner that doesn’t detract or distract from the presentation? No matter what profession you may have, it is very important that your design matches the content and feel of your business.
Determining the appropriate image you want to convey for your business or organization is an important first step towards designing and building the perfect website. If you are experiencing difficulty with this process, contact us today for a personal consultation and we will be happy to assist you!