I often write about the small things that can be done within a website to ensure that it turns the highest number of site visitors into customers (i.e. the conversion rate). In today’s post I thought I would talk about something a lot more general. What happens if your website designer comes up with a site that just doesn’t suit your particular niche?
I remember working on a project many years ago where people could locate the model of their car and be shown all the suitable tyres and a list of stockists with their best prices. The aim was simple, match people in need of new tyres with the closest and most competitive retailer. The site did not feature any e-commerce functionality and acted purely as a directory.
We had created a wireframe for the project which was approved by the client and we then started on the design side of things. Internally we came up with a few designs, but as usual there was one that stood head and shoulders above the others. We were very excited, feeling that we had nailed the brief. We were genuinely surprised when the client rejected the design within 5 seconds of seeing it.
His reasoning was that although we had designed a site which looked fantastic and would compare favourably to any existing tyre themed website in the market, it would not look right for his users. The existing sites in his industry were all manufacturers or retailers and his site was a price comparison directory. The look and feel we had delivered was completely inappropriate for his users and would send the wrong message to them.
After our initial disappointment we realised he was 100% correct. The design we had come up with was just not suitable for his business. It would have sent out the wrong message to site visitors the second they landed on his homepage. We went back to the drawing board (or in this case Photoshop) and came up with a much more appropriate design which was approved at once. Problem solved and a happy client.
A great design is never enough. It also has to fit the particular niche of the site in question. Most successful sites look the way you would expect them to look. As a site user you are no doubt making snap decisions about whether a site you have just landed on has anything to offer you.
Sometimes you can get too close to a project, particularly if it is your own. If you are about to appoint a web design company then make sure that you take a step back from your project and think about what the end-user would expect from your site. When creating our landing page for website design Sydney, I made certain to obtain multiple opinions. Try to distance yourself from your personal tastes and your own expectations of the web in general and think about the real needs of your project. If you can match the expectations of your users with the look and feel of your website then you will be off to a great start.
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