Web design principles 2
Make it interesting
Okay, so your website has succesfully completed step 1 and caught your users' attention. Great! But now what? You certainly don't want people to leave your website now, which is what will happen unless you can keep them engaged and spark their interest in what you're offering.
Your website needs to be interesting. This step is just as important as grabbing their attention! Don't just tell people what you do - sell the benefits of what you're offering and give people a reason to work with you. This helps put the focus back on the user and helps to add appeal to your product or service.
If you're a plumber, don't just list all the different types of plumbing jobs you can do. Saying "we can replace your old water heater" may get you some interest, but it will much more powerful if you help explain the benefits of what you offer. "Want to save money on your gas bill? We can install efficient water heaters". Think about it from your users' point of view.
Choose a handful of key things that you can offer and focus on them (the magic number seems to be 3). Then, let your homepage design emphasise these key things.
Many websites make the mistake of trying to say everything there is to know about their company on the homepage. This is like trying to make a dog drink from a high-pressure hose; there's just too much to take in that the user is suddenly overwhelmed and you just end up getting soaked.
Think about what the user gets from using your business and try to communicate a few of these key benefits on the website. Here are some good examples of other businesses that do this well.
Evernote doesn't just list their features - but instead help the user see that Evernote would be useful.
Skype could just say "free group video calling" - but instead applying this feature to a real life situation helps add a lot more interest for the user. Bonus points for creating an emotional response (which also helps create desire - which we'll talk about next).
Oran Park Podium promotes the 3 biggest reasons to visit the shopping centre - which helps generate the user's interest to get in the car and visit. Icons help to add visual interest.
Slack visually demonstrates it's search feature - again, the text is written to help show what the product can add to the user's business. It's particularly aimed at user's who are frustrated with their current office communication.
So... that's it!
It's worth spending some time to consider how you can use your website to generate people's interest in what you do. To help with this- think about the benefits and advantages that you're offering and how you can demonstrate these to the user. What is it that makes you different to the competition? Why should they use you? This will help get their attention and make your website much more effective.
Once you've got the user's attention and sparked their interest, you need them to want your product or service. Next blog post, we'll take about turning this interest into desire.
- Web Design Principles 1 - Attention
- Web Design Principles 3 - Desire (coming soon)
- Web Design Principles 4 - Action (coming soon)
Posted by Andy Hobbs on 13 January, 2015