Do you want a website that looks and feels like everyone else’s in your sector, directly in line with those of your competitors? Or is it better to stand out from the crowd and create a unique website full of personality?
It’s an interesting question. On one hand you want your site to be head and shoulders above the rest, a memorable place to spend time and somewhere people won’t forget in a hurry. On the other hand, there are some ‘givens’ that apply to every good website design, which you avoid at your financial peril!
Take navigation, for example. We once ran across a website that had no visible means of navigation at all. The home page consisted of a photo. You were supposed to hover over different items in the picture to ‘find’ the links. It made the whole site more or less impossible to use unless you had the patience of a saint… which very few of us do when we’re looking for stuff online.
Navigation is not something you want to mess up. People expect to see the home page first, followed by more key page tabs in a logical order. They expect the contact page to be called ‘Contact us’ not something eccentric like ‘Let’s talk’. The creative opportunities are, as a result, quite rightly limited.
Being too smart and overly creative with the basics can land you in trouble. So how do you add the right amount of personality to a website without adversely affecting the essential user experience?
Create a unique tone of voice to attract and hold people’s attention
It’s easy when, as some of our web design clients, you’re a household name comedian with a voice that’s recognisably yours. It’s not quite so straightforward when you’re in the business of selling less unusual products and services. Either way, developing your tone of voice helps build an attractive online personality your visitors will respond to positively, enjoy and remember, sitting at the heart of your brand.
Play with colour.
We can do an awful lot with colour. Colour is evocative, emotional, powerful. If you’re a funeral director, you won’t want to deck your website out in bright pink and light yellow livery. But you can afford to be creative with colour, using it to help create a website that suits the subject matter perfectly as well as putting across your values, ideals and character.
Make the most of imagery
A picture speaks a thousand words. It’s true. But the wrong picture speaks the wrong words, and a rubbish quality or poorly-chosen image can damage your brand. Make sure every image is beautiful, relevant, top quality, well-composed and NOT the first thing you run across in a cheapo image library.
Masterful headers and subheads.
Facts are important things. But you can make your web page headers and subheads work much harder for their living by treating them with a bit more creative care, being factual but also being suitably impressive, sometimes even entertaining, depending on the industry you operate within.
Displaying information in the most interesting way.
The great infographic revolution has come and gone, when everyone and his dog started to present information in graphic form instead of describing it using words. Infographics might be less popular than they were, but they are not over-used anymore. They’re still a fantastic way to get vital information across instantly, clearly, elegantly and in an entertaining way. The same goes for video. If your primary competitor provides all their on-site information in lengthy word form and yours is a beautifully displayed, intuitive graphical representation, you’ve won in the personality stakes – your efforts should be remembered for longer and appreciated more.
Raising the creative and competitive bar
If you’d like a team of experts to build you a website packed with personality, a unique online presence which performs exactly as people expect, call us in for a chat. We’ll help you stand out from the crowd without losing you audience.