What Do You Want Your Website to Do?

Or more accurately: What do you want your website to get your visitors to do?

I read this article today – You Design It, They Do It. It reminded me that you really need to define what you want your visitors to do before you even start to design.

  • Do you want them to call you? Then make your phone number obvious & include an invitation to “Give me a ring”.
  • Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Maybe have an eye catching button that leads them to it (or have it right on the landing page!), an explanation of why it would benefit them, even a free offer for them if they fill it in.
  • Do you want them to buy more on your e-commerce site? Make it as easy as possible for them! Make the navigation is simple & direct as you can. Make sure you have lots of clear photos of the items. Make the “Add to Cart” button as visible as possible.

The article above used Pinterest.com as an example of a site that is engineered to get visitors to do only a few specific things. And it succeeds! Notice the Repin, Edit & Comment buttons that appear when you mouse-over (above the black t-shirt in the top row). And guess what – visitors are doing those things! It doesn’t get much simpler.

Wait, it does: another example the author cited was Google. It’s a white website with a box. And a “Search” button. That’s it.

The takeaway from this is that before you even start to design, think about the number one thing you want your visitors to do and make sure that the design supports that. I will definitely be including this in all design meetings from now on.

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