The Five Assessment Questions for Evaluating Branding and Website Design
Let’s say you had a shop that sold gorgeous rose-gold watches that let you turn back time or fast forward through time. It sounds pretty amazing except for one thing: no one visits your shop.
No one visits your shop because most people don’t even know it exists. The shop’s exterior isn’t appealing. It’s outdated and there’s no clear sign that identifies that you’re selling a time traveling device. In fact, there isn’t even a clear door to your shop, and once inside, it’s still hard to tell what the shop is selling and whether there’s even a sales person to help you. Once you’re in, you’re not quite sure why you’re there to begin with. Your probably just took a wrong turn. You’re quickly unimpressed and find the quickest opportunity to bounce back out. And if by some miracle you’re aware of the remarkable time traveling watch, you’re at a loss for where to find it under the massive amounts of misdirection, distractions and just plain junk you’re going to have to cut through to get to what you’re looking for.
This sad story of the worst shop in history isn’t that far from reality.
The fact is, you might not have a brick and mortar shop, but your website is a digital designation that is trying to sell something. Whether it’s a product or a service, a disastrously disorganized and hideously unappealing website has the same poor function as the saddest shop in history.
If you’re evaluating the current state of your website design, ask whether yourself the following questions:
If First Impressions Are Everything, What First Impression Are You Making?
You know the saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” The same goes for your brand and web presence. When a prospective client visits your site, studies show you have about 7 seconds in which they make a decision. In those seven seconds, they will decide: (1) whether to do business with you and (2) how much your product or services are worth. If you have a poor first impression, clients will automatically devalue what you have to offer – making it more difficult for you to close the deal.
What Image Are You Portraying?
Moving past a first impression, each subsequent page a website visitor navigates too will further determine how they perceive your company. If you are a telecommunications business, but your brand is outdated, then the impression you’re leaving on clients is that you’re not up to date with your own industry standards. In other example, if you are a progressive company invested in the future, then your website needs to reflect a similar image that exudes presence and confidence in your ability to carry your clients there.
Are You Clearly Guiding Your Visitors?
Ask yourself what is it that you’re trying to attract prospective clients to? What key pieces of information are the trying to access? Here, the mistake most websites make is that they present too much information that misguides and frustrates the visitor, or they don’t present enough of the right type of information the visitor is searching for.
Solving this problem involves two steps. First, makes sure your site map has an architect-like plan for guiding viewers down the right rabbit-hole to help the get them convert into a subscriber, a consumer, or to encourage them to pick up the phone and make a call. Second, ensure that visually you have a sound graphic design for your website that properly conveys the brand and mirrors the demographic you’re trying to target.
What Story is Your Brand Telling?
Your website doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles, but it does need to clearly communicate a specific message. If your brand has a story, then is your brand collateral delivering that same message? Your brand is more than just your logo and your story is more than what you say it is. Every piece of creative asset involved in your brand, website design, visual and content collateral are telling a brand story.
Your brand story also has to be consistent across every step of your messaging and website design in order to make an impression. Anything less, and you’re simply telling a story rather than becoming the story. You need to be your story.
Are you Mobile Responsive?
It’s a fact that smart phones and mobile technology dominate when it comes to how we engage with digital media. In fact, Google recently shifted their algorithm to favor mobile-responsive sites. The end result is this: you no longer have an option when it comes to having a mobile-friendly design. It needs to be in order for you to be recognized as a digital presence and in order for anyone to continue successfully navigating your site.
If everyone is on mobile, and you’re somewhere else, then how can you expect to functionally do business?
Messaging and mobile responsiveness across various devices are only the top of the iceberg. A design team that includes talented developers, creative designers and content strategists will help you ask all the right questions as you delve into evaluating your website design.