Who Should Like Your Website Design?

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Short answer:  It “ain’t” you, buddy.

Your website’s purpose is not to make you happy.   The goal of any commercial website is to get customers.   This is one of the hardest things I have to deal with in my business.

Clients have an idea or even a very specific design and color scheme that they want to use and, since the client is always right – supposedly, I’ll try to subtly tell them it might not accomplish what they want, but some people simply don’t pick up on subtle.

One way to see if your website’s design is a help or a hindrance is to see how much time people spend on the first page they enter the site on.  This is not always the home page, contrary to what many people think. 

If people are spending less than 2 seconds on the entry page and then leaving the site, you should assume that your site design needs some work. 

Examples of problems along this line that I’ve encountered (details changed to protect the ignorant):

  • The client’s favorite color is yellow.  Yellow is one of the harder colors to show on the web because monitors are all different.  What looks yellow to the client may look gold or orangey to me and beige to someone else.   Stick with web-safe colors.
  • The client likes some other business’s web site.  But the other business is in a completely different line of work and their type of layout is great for them, but not appropriate for my client’s business.
  • The client hates change.   Yes, what we know is so much more comfortable than what we don’t know – to most people.  But consider this:  in 1995, almost no one had heard of the Internet or had a pc, much less an iPhone.   Times change.  Just because your website was ideal in 2006 doesn’t mean it’s ideal now.

If you’re really brave and will not take it personally, ask your webmaster what they really think of your website.   I don’t care if the webmaster is me or someone else.  If they are at all experienced, they will have a good idea of what your website should look like.  Your job is to trust them and quit worrying about whether you like it or not.  You should be proud of your web site, but, remember, it’s just a website.  It’s not you.  Trust your webmaster to create a web site that shows you off to your best advantage -even if you don’t care that much for it.

And,  ideally, you and your webmaster can come to an agreement on design.  Maybe you don’t love it, but would you rather love your web site or have customers?   Your choice.

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