Websites: pretty or pretty ineffective?
In the world of websites, looks can be deceiving. Beauty is important, but true success lies in delivering what users need.
“We’ve just launched a new website” Ciara boasted as she tucked into a ploughman’s sandwich at afternoon tea with the girls on Saturday. “Have a nosey gals, it’s got all the bells and whistles”. Not wanting to be outdone, Lauren mentioned her company website was shortlisted for an upcoming award. Meanwhile, Sarah who’d already made her way to the scones realised that her company website hadn’t been updated for 5 or 6 years, so she made a mental note to check things out on Monday morning.
The weekend went past in the blink of an eye and when Monday morning rolled around Sarah had a chat with the web team and was surprised to learn that they had a different approach when it came to measuring the success of their web activities. Unlike Lauren, who boasted about awards, or Ciara, who emphasised all the bells and whistles, Sarah’s team focused on metrics that truly mattered: conversions, customer satisfaction, completed tasks, number of sales leads generated, and increase in average order value.
Whilst the website hadn’t had a full rebuild or redesign throughout those years, it had gone through a series of refreshes dictated by on-going user research and suggestions made by the SEO team to both improve the website for users and to generate more traffic.
The revelation served as a powerful reminder of how easily a disconnect can arise between an organisation’s perception of their website and how their customers truly rate it. Sarah’s web people were not only better attuned to the needs of their target audience but were also contributing significantly to the bottom line. Unlike Ciara and Lauren, who seemed preoccupied with external recognition and internal egos, Sarah’s team prioritised what truly mattered: fulfilling the priorities of their customers.
Nowadays, most websites are pretty. But far too many websites are pretty ineffective. Sure, it might be great to have an accolade for the best design, but if your users can’t find what they need or can’t easily make the action they want to take,
In the realm of fashion, trendy but uncomfortable shoes are like peacock feathers. They may attract attention and turn heads, but they leave you with blisters, sore feet and a dread to wear them again.
The best performing websites are like trainers or dare I even say crocs?! They know what their most important customers need (comfort and functionality) and give them just that.
Ensuring a website is pretty and effective
Is it possible to have a website that is both pretty and effective? The answer, of course, is yes. It involves collaboration; from ideation to build right through to launch, the team should include user experience, designers, SEO, development and importantly, your users.
So, in a world full of Louboutins be a Croc, unless of course if you’re like me and need the height!
Discover ideas, insights and news from our experts
Sign up to our newsletter