As a website designer, as you may imagine, I am often asked, what is a good website. My response is simple. One that resonates with your users. A site that is articulate and fast, while providing the resources people need.
Shift Your Paradigm. Please!
By shifting your paradigm, I mean, allow designers freedom to think outside the box. Rather than boxing yourself into the standard, old school design that everyone else has. Stop trying to conform. Because the reality is, many sites are not that good.
They may have some nice looking photos, multi-image slider or cool parallax features and more. But if you want brutal honesty, they don’t work.
Horrible on mobile
Don’t offer resources
Trying to say too much
Do You Pass The 7 Second Test?
Ask yourself a simple question. If you visit a site, do you have tons of patience? In a world, often measured by millisecond response times, we are not very patient. In fact, studies show the human attention span is 6-8 seconds. Studies also show that after 3 seconds of waiting for a site to load, 53% of visitors leave.
That is the extent of our patience. 3 seconds is not much time. Especially when you put it in the context of the average website, which takes nearly 22 seconds to load on mobile. Which by the way is roughly 50% of all website traffic.
Think of these statistics next time you tell your developer you want a four page slider on the homepage. Or a really cool video that loads automatically. Nice to haves possibly. But are they so nice to have that you are willing to lose half your traffic waiting for the page to load? Do you honestly think anyone will ever sees slide 4, let alone slide 2?
Or that video. Most visitors simply are not going to wait for a video to load. One that they never even asked to view. Video is great. Don’t get me wrong. But there are proper ways to use it.
Does Your Site Pass The Elevator Test?
Remember the elevator pitch. Being able to convey your message in the short period of time it takes to go up from the lobby to the third floor?
Today, many websites are so confusing, the message cannot be conveyed, even if you were traveling to the penthouse. It’s just convoluted. Smothered with too many words. Words, that often are not even coherent.
When someone comes to your house for the first time, don’t you welcome them in and focus initially on a proper greeting? The goal is to build trust, make them feel welcome and invited.
But in the world of modern day website design, it’s more about jamming as much info in their face as quickly as possible. Horrible idea!
Does Your Site Pass The Resource Test?
Here’s another study. It is estimated, that only 4% of people, while online, are ready to buy at any given moment. What about the other 96%?
The majority of these people are researching their purchase. The researchers of today, are the buyers of tomorrow.
Today we research everything. Go to a store, and rather than ask for help, you are likely researching the store’s website for the information you need. And if you can’t find the info you need, you are likely walking out. You have to provide resources for people. Why?
Because your competitors are. People will find the information they need. Why not provide it for them? In a world that can seem dark, distant and cold, people still value old school relationships. They still want to build trust with those in which they interact. They want to feel welcome.
So provide the resources they need. No charge, no sign ups, just free resources to do research.
Can You Answer Yes To These Questions?
That’s an easy one. Test out your site. Ask family, friends, customers to give you honest feedback. Or of course, ask us.
Ask for brutal honesty. And be brutal with yourself in discovering these answers. But don’t ask once and move one. Constantly evaluate your site. Be disciplined in ensuring your website is truly representing your business and generating leads. There is a lot of competition out there.
Be a leader, not a follower. Shift your paradigm in how your site looks and feels. Stop trying to conform. In the world of web design, the less is more adage has never been more important than it is today.
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