Why Frisbees look just terrible in walnut and leather (or don’t just copy – learn)

This week I’d like to take a moment to touch again on the subject of providing the right look and feel when presenting your product or service.

You’ll remember, I mentioned this the other week when I told you about my visit to the Royal Highland Show (and no, for those who have been asking, I still haven’t been persuaded to buy a ‘Coo’) so  I thought I’d revisit the subject as there’s one common trap you don’t want to fall into … and that’s copying something you see outright.

At workshops, seminars and face to face training days it used to happen all of the time. I’d show the attendees a website I liked – for instance, the Jaguar website because it had congruity with the type of product or service I happened to be using as an example.

Everybody would nod sagely, make notes and without fail, around half of them would turn-up at the next meeting with, or send me a link to, their ‘site’ – and regardless of whether they were trying to sell ferris wheels, socks or Frisbees – their site would be all walnut and leather.

So, after my slightly exasperated look had received the response of ‘well, that’s what you TOLD me to do’ I had to explain further about what I meant by ‘look and feel’ as well as congruency.

The impression you are trying to give is one that reflects what you want your prospective customer to feel when they see your site. If you your product is about something quite fun, for instance children’s parties – then the site, you would think, needs to be light, airy, and you’d probably want to take a look at the way Disney do things.

If, on the other hand, your products involved legal services or will writing you would be trying to create a look that was a lot more serious, reliable and you’ll agree, would definitely require fewer pictures of balloons.

So while the actual look and feel of a site should vary according to what you have to offer, and there is no right or wrong way of doing that as long as you get the message across … there is, however,  always one constant.

If you are wanting your visitor to buy from you or even just share their details … your site has to give the impression of being (and I can already imagine all those who work for me at HQ sighing when the they read this bit) … ‘safe’.

By ‘safe’ I don’t mean having pictures of bank vaults or big burly security guards – I mean that you need to ensure the site is put together properly … that all the links work, none of the images are hanging half off of the page (even if, occasionally you might be let down by the vagaries of various browsers or other silly technical niggles) but overall, you give your visitor the reassurance that you know what you are doing.

After all, how can you expect your customer to believe your product or service will work (or even be delivered in the first place) if their first impression of you is a bad one?

Imagine if you walked into a café, the door then fell off of its hinges, floor was so dirty you couldn’t actually tell what colour it should have been and there was some surly looking miscreant behind the counter with his finger up his nose watching a rat scamper out from the kitchen … would you stay for breakfast…?  Of course you wouldn’t – and nobody would blame you either.

For precisely that reason you need to make sure you give exactly the right impression to your visitor when they first arrive on your site – a shoddy half done site simply won’t get anything like the response of a well put together ‘professional’ looking one.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to do this either. There are literally 1000’s of WordPress themes (most of which are completely free) that you can add to your site (so there must be one that would be a good fit for what you are offering)

You can customise this theme and create something rather good in just a few hours. There are places like Canva and Gimp where you can create impressive looking graphics, and sites such as Pixabay – full of images you can also use for free.

So, you can see, there are a great many tools you can use to create the perfect look and feel to present your site in the best way possible … all you have to do is just get on with it…

Until next time,

Tim Lowe

Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down 

Tim Lowe