In the days when television advertising was the number one way to reach and inform potential customers, even the largest advertising agencies got carried away with cuteness. They believed that the more “creative” the commercial, the better it was. This was miles from reality. The best commercials were ones that sold the product or enticed the viewer to visit the store. Sales was and is the name of the game. Web site owners know that for their web sites to be productive, they must be designed to sell rather than to be “creative.”
Usability VS Aesthetics
A web site can still be attractive and creative but still draw the user in and make it easy to navigate and purchase. It is essential to partner with a designer who understands human nature as well as technical language. The average person searching the web is not a computer genius. If you tell him to click on button A, he will click on button A expecting certain results. If he clicks as instructed and does not receive the desired results, he feels incompetent and that he has done something wrong. He will be frustrated and probably leave your site for another one that is easier to use.
Experts say that when you write copy for the web or for general advertising, the language should be worded to an eighth grade level. Certainly, this is not the case for National Geographic, but this is true for most ‘average’ web sites. However, most eighth graders know far more about the Internet and its language than do their parents and grandparents. If you are trying to sell to middle school children, then your design and complexity can be more advanced. If you are trying to reach the parents and grandparents, then you need to be as user-friendly as possible.
When searching for web designs it is important to have several conversations with your potential design partner. Take a good look at some of the previous work. Go on line and see how easy it is to navigate and find the information you want. Does the potential design firm offer references and testimonials?
Striking A Balance
While being user-friendly is paramount, the schematics must also include a site that is pleasing to the eye and does not confuse the customer. There are some colors, for instance, that should never be used because of the emotions they invoke. While these emotions are subliminal, your designer needs to be up-to-date on knowledge of design, flow, color and implementation. Look at the sample sites you were provided. Are there any pages that give you a feeling of unease although you cannot put your finger on the exact reason?
The true test of a web design is the track record for sales. After your web site is completed it is a little late to switch gears if the site does not perform well. You discussed your ideas with your potential designer and you were given sample web sites to view. Did your designer give you any sales figures that proved the success of these sample sites? At the end of the day, you want your web design to produce sales.
Article provided by Division  Web Design Studios, a web design, software application and web development company.
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