When it comes to web design and digital marketing, the importance of first impressions can’t be overstated. Consider, for example, these statistics:
- Consumers take only about 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about a website – whether they like it and whether to click away or not
- 94% of negative feedback about websites is related to design
- If a site’s content or layout is not appealing or engaging, 38% of people will leave
- 88% of site visitors are unlikely to return after an unpleasant experience
- 75% of consumers say they make judgments about a company on the basis of its website design
- It takes only 2.6 seconds for a site visitor’s eyes to reach the elements of a site that most influences the first impression
- “First impressions are 94% design related.” (Ref: SWEOR)
People scroll through hundreds (thousands?) of web pages daily, and often they stop and linger on a page only because it impresses them visually. A good web design that creates a great fist impression also helps provide consumers with the assurance they need that they’ve found what they’re looking for and that your business can be trusted. Without that, you can’t even get off the digital-marketing starting line.
So here’s what it takes, design-wise . . .
Logo That Does Its Job Well
Although you’ll deploy your logo in many other places for marketing, good logo design is a critical component of good web design. A well designed logo identifies your brand, contributes to a great first impression, establishes lasting brand recognition, influences consumer decisions, and communicates your brand values. It is your web-wide trademark.
In addition to a logo design that accomplishes all those tasks, your logo has to mesh well with your site’s theme and feel. For example: Does its color work hand in hand with your site’s color scheme? Is its shape consonant with the rest of the site elements? Does it make the same statement as the rest of the site?
Uncluttered, Balanced Layout
Another critical element of eye-catching web design – one that should be obvious, but is often overlooked – is an uncluttered layout, especially if your primary goal is to share information. The most-popular homepages are uncluttered and uncrowded, including only what is necessary to achieve the desired effect.
Besides not being packed with unnecessary stuff, the layout should also be calmly balanced. You want to ease your visitors’ eyes into a page with effective balancing of text, images, and empty space. Too much of any one element will throw a page out of balance and have a jarring effect on visitors.
That eye-catching first impression should, first of all, elicit an emotional response in visitors. (Rational reflection on what you have to offer comes later.) There is a well developed psychology of color showing how different colors profoundly but unobtrusively affect people in different ways emotionally. One of primary ways, then, to get the right emotional response is through the effective use of color.
In addition, you can lead visitors toward the action you want them to take with color. For example, bright buttons that contrast with the surrounding color scheme are more likely to get clicks. And gradients provide a visual path to guide eyes to an important spot.
We all know the power of images, but on your business site they need to reinforce what is going on throughout the rest of your site. Photos and images break up text, grab attention, and illustrate and reinforce messages, but only if they are appropriately complementary. They also have to work well with your color palette, which means that some expert editing is often called for.
Typography can also have a huge impact on the feel and effectiveness of a website, so it should effectively complement all the other elements. In fact, some web design experts claim that typography can convey just as much to visitors as the actual message it is used to create. The font and typefaces can either encourage visitors to read your messages or drive them away, usually never to return. It takes a web design team experienced in all aspects of integrative design to get this right. The way the message is conveyed is at least as important as the message itself where digital marketing is concerned.
The Most Important Piece of the Eye-Catching Web-Design Puzzle
Even if your site seems eye catching, well laid out, and beautifully designed, is it really doing what it should? There are so very many pieces that have to be properly fitted together – color, typography, space, responsiveness, mobile friendliness, navigation, content, intuitiveness, branding, SEO, and much more. And if your site isn’t helping your business grow and helping you make more money, then, well, something isn’t right about it.
The solution, the final piece of the puzzle, is a web design firm that is obsessed with making you look good online, one that can create a web presence to help you warm up leads, entice users to visit sooner and more often, and make it easy for customers to do business with you. The company you choose also has to be able to ask the right questions in order to design a site that is truly you and your brand.
Here’s what to look for, then: that perfect blend of psychology, creativity, and high-tech prowess.
Author Bio: My name is Pia Larson, founder of Fingerprint Marketing, an award-winning, full service Seattle Design Studio. I started Fingerprint Marketing in 2007 and have since expanded to a small team of professional designers, photographers, writers and video editors bringing only what you can imagine to life to help you leave a unique fingerprint on your market. I’ve been a graphic designer for over 15 years now, and I am always excited to share my passion with others who share the same interest!