Cutting-edge technology. Stunning graphics. E-commerce. All the latest "bells and whistles." These are the buzzwords of web design.
According to the media, you need a whiz-bang website for effective e-commerce — business on the Web. You might even have fallen in love with them yourself. So let's address the visuals.
Depending upon whom you talk to, opinions will vary widely as to what is necessary for an effective website.
A Matter of Logic ... and Marketing
Determining a proper "look" for a website is about marketing and sales.
Let's say your website designer is pressuring you into a neon color scheme — but your company is a financial institution. Our your Flash designer championed an intro page that takes three minutes to download and displays your logo spinning off into Never-Neverland, followed by marketing babble fading in and out s-l-o-w-l-y that he guaranteed was going to wow everyone in sight. Meanwhile, people are leaving your website in droves, and you wonder what's wrong, or decide that the Web doesn't work.
The above simply illustrate incomplete approaches to web design; while it's fine to represent yourself well, what's left out is the marketing angle. In effect, what's left out is your target audience. People. You're selling to people.
Simply put, unless we're talking about a personal website or something of that nature, your website should be designed so that your potential customers can identify with it. This is a basic sales point, and means a look consistent with what your customers — and potential customers — expect, a look that seems "right" to them.
This doesn't mean it must be dull or look like everyone else's website. It just means it must be within the reality of your potential customers.
Know your audience! But, of course, that's a subject for another newsletter ...
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