Take a look at your company’s website: what do you see? Is it user-friendly or confusing? Are your services or products easy to find? Is the navigation organized or haphazard? What about images and graphics – are they blurry, too small, or not legally yours?
If you notice any flaws with your site’s design, you may think it’s not something you need to worry about immediately, right? Wrong! The design of your website is incredibly important, not just to your online presence, but the overall success of your business as well.
The Value of Good Design
Unless your company operates exclusively online, you might not consider your website an integral part of your business’s success, but this isn’t true. A recent study conducted by the Design Management Institute of Boston has shown that companies with design-driven websites are more successful than companies that have outdated or poorly designed sites. Businesses with good design were found to outperform on the Standard & Pool’s index by 228%!
After the Design Management Institute implemented their Design Value Index, they studied 75 publicly traded U.S. companies that met the DVI’s six design management criteria. The DMI looked for things like design that was also embedded within the company’s structure, design leadership at all levels of management, and a visible commitment to using innovative resources to create positive change in their company’s overall design.
Out of the 75 businesses that the DMI studied, only 15 met all six design criteria. The 15 who made the cut – including companies such as Apple, Coca Cola, Ford, Nike, Starbucks, and Target – all consistently outperform their competitors on the stock market index of the 500 largest publicly traded companies. This could indicate that a mentality of good design across the board is more successful than the alternative.
What Makes for Good Design?
What is similar about the design for these 15 company websites? Every single one of them has invested in good design by creating smooth user experience, a beautiful, unmistakable brand, and an innovative online advertising presence.
Unlike many e-commerce sites, these 15 recognize that their landing page is a vital part of their success, and have eschewed aspects that turn customers off, such as too much information, clutter, and an overly complex design.
As online commerce becomes a favored method of shopping for many consumers, customers are becoming more and more finicky about the types of sites they will frequent. So what can you do to make your website a favorite of Internet users?
- Remember Less is More
A cardinal rule of e-commerce is the less hassle, the better. Online shoppers want convenience and ease, and many will even be willing to spend a bit more money for a simple and fast shopping experience.
In keeping with this, most customers tend to prefer the minimalist approach. Simple header navigation, one product per page body, and limited informational links about a featured product will draw a consumer in far more than a cluttered page with several products jumping out at the viewer at once.
To keep your website design as sleek as possible, avoid unrelated product combinations, unrelated sidebar ads, unnecessary copy, and cluttered design.
- Use Only What you Need
Focus each page only on what’s needed. Avoid cluttering individual pages with lots of information in favor of “learn more” links that give the customer the power decide just how much he or she wants to learn.
- Fewer Clicks=More Sales
The fewer clicks a customer has to make to buy a product, the higher the sales margins.
People want simplicity and ease, and if you force your customers to jump through hoops to buy your product, odds are good they won’t complete their order or return to your website.
- Watch the Columns
Every time you add another column to a page, your content is pushed into a smaller space. This takes the emphasis off what the customer wants and places more on other information.
- Follow the “Grandma Rule”
Meaning, if your grandma can’t find her way around your website, odds are good it’s not designed as well as it could be. Create a site that is user friendly to those with even the most rudimentary Internet knowledge!
Let Artonic Help You!
Is your website design not all that it could be? Need a redesign to increase business? Artonic can help! We know that an engaging, custom design can drastically increase conversions, time on site, and pageviews, and we are dedicated to helping you create the best website to fit your needs.
If you want to discuss your options, contact us. We’ll meet to discuss your needs and goals, and help you make a decision as to what’s best for your company – not what’s best for ours.