Thursday, January 08, 2009

Web Design Dissonance

There’s a problem with using web design templates, or web designers whose main goal is to make their next site slicker than the last.  These are usually the least expensive web design alternatives and they are increasingly popular in an uncertain economy.  However, business owners who choose this route should be aware of its true costs.

Web design is about far more than good looks.  A web site has a practical purpose and your web design must do everything it can to serve that purpose.  If yours is a business web site, its purpose is probably to make a sale, get market information or create a business lead.

When your site manages to achieve its purpose, it has made a conversion.  So, ultimately, the purpose of your site is to convert your web visitors.

Remember, your site design needs to serve the purpose of your web site.  When it doesn’t, you have design dissonance.

Design dissonance means the design of your site, both graphically and structurally, works against the goals, or purpose, of the site.

Web design dissonance can happen in many ways.  The graphic design of the site does not fit the image or brand of the company, which often happens with templates.  The site design does not make it easy for the visitor to convert, which often happens with a slick over-design that is just trying to look good.  Design dissonance also happens when the site design is not planned, from the beginning, around achieving the goals of the site, which is another symptom of designers who only concentrate on a slick look. 

When you choose the "inexpensive" web design route – templates and $500 designers - make sure you understand the full cost of doing so.

By Stephen Da Cambra

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