Web Designer Insider : Finding the Balance
You’re not happy with your website, the design is old and feels stale. You are not generating leads at the rate of your competitors and you are now looking to redesign. Where do you put the bulk of your focus? Artistic ‘Wow’ factor or into functionality and lead generation? How do you find the balance in the web development process?
Recently a thread of emails was shooting back in forth between marketing and design at OTR web systems and one email in particular from our veteran designer caught my eye. Igor, the designer in question, made some interesting and thought provoking statements.
Designers often want to be cutting edge with design on every site. They want the site to be artistically brilliant and have the wow factor.This is completely understandable, they are after all artists. Here’s what he had to say. The following statement really grabbed my attention and provoked me to read more. I found it very interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of a veteran web designer.
“There are many fantastic websites made by very talented designers. Sometimes I am really envy on the creativity they show. As a colleague I am impressed! But would I be impressed as a client?!”
The reason this struck me is because the artist is more focused on the needs of the customer. The ego says art, the intellect says effectiveness. He wants to satisfy the clients needs for web development first!
Be Effective First
By focussing on effective web development first Igor is producing a product that will be seen. He has included all the keywords, SEO and other various tools needed to be found online and then be able to convert visitors more effectively. The absolute flip side is developing with artistry as the first priority and then having a beautiful, stunning web page that will rarely be found, if ever, because it has not been properly optimized, or is lacking in content. Igor sums it up nicely,
“When I am creating the website layout I am keeping this in mind – the purpose of the website is not to impress visitors and clients with fancy solutions. They are not coming to admire the design of the website. They are looking for some information, solution… practical things. The purpose of the website is to give them what they want fast and easy to find.”
Do Not Neglect the Artistry
Effectiveness first, but the artistry must not be forgotten during the web development process. You have all visited those web sites where you feel like you are on a construction site or need sunglasses just to view the page! It is not a pleasing experience and you are much less likely to return to that particular web site. When working through the web development process effectiveness and artistry should be ranked 1 and 1a.
The Silver ‘Re’ Cap
- Focus on web effectiveness first
- Do not neglect artistry
- Effectiveness and Artistry are ranked 1 and 1a
- Make sure your designer understands the above points!
Effectiveness first, It won’t matter how artistically amazing your website is if no one can find it or just as damaging is if the visitor can not figure out what to do once they are at your site. Make sure your website functions first, then make it as visually wonderful as possible.
As always your comments and opinions are valued and desired.
Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.