Website Design: Does Ugly Win?

Website Design

We all like shiny new things right, especially when it comes to technology? The latest computer, the thinnest laptop, the most recent smartphone, an ipad because of how it renders graphics. So it makes sense that slick website design is the way to go. It has to look good to be good, right?

Do you remember when a lot of the sites you’d visit online had home pages that were all flash animated with music and a tiny link in the bottom right to skip the presentation and get to the ‘real’ site? They don’t exist so much anymore because business owners and website builders have realised that visitors want function and information, not to be wowed by the awesomeness of the super amazing programming skills of the IT department. Thank goodness!

Not only are web visitors unlikely to be impressed by the quality of your graphics and how you’ve expertly matched the music to the vibe you’ve created for your brand, they’re in a hurry.

Visitors that come to your website want to know how you can solve their problem. That problem could be being bored and looking for entertainment, it could be solving a specific dilemma that they are dealing with, it could be fulfilling a need.

Let’s get one thing clear, a web visitor is thinking about themselves when they visit your site, not you. They want to know what’s in it for them. How can you help them get what they want? Can’t? Ok, back button. Click. Gone in under 30 seconds.

But wait, you haven’t even finished saying hello on your home page. How can they leave so soon? They didn’t scroll down to the part about how you won an award last year and you’ve been featured in your local newspaper. And your product has all these great features. Don’t they want to read that?

Sorry. They don’t. Sure they may be interested in that information once they’ve got to know you better but upfront, they just don’t care. Can you help them? It’s not obvious. You’re not clear. Forget it. Bye.

Your website needs to be functional and intuitive to navigate. The graphics and design need to serve your message, not overwhelm it. Sometimes that’s why an ugly design and crude layout wins when it comes to engaging visitors and getting conversions because the focus is on being useful. It’s not about being ugly for the sake of it but speaking clearly and directly to consumers; basic but practical.

Is it clear when a visitor arrives on your website how you can help them?