As the internet evolves, so has design and design elements that create a focused driven marketing campaign. In the old days, designers were dueling back and forth showing their skills and how they made full use of their Design Software.
“Just because you can do it, does not mean you should do it…”
Back when the internet was new to everyone it was very neat to see 3d spinning logos, blinking planets, beveled edges, glows and drop shadows. However, very quickly the world was numb to these elements based on the fact that, “seen one, you’ve seen em’ all”. Unfortunately, designers all over the world still have not caught on to this. They still open up their raw design in Photoshop or fireworks and slam each layer with at least one of Adobe’s quick effects and/or filters and if they are not doing that, they are creating flash animations that simply drown out the whole reason the viewer may be coming to the site, causing them to leave.
There is light in the end of this tunnel though. The pro’s that have realized the evolution and expectation of most of the viewing community today have changed the way they are designing. For the savvy, they go to a site for a specific reason. They are researching, buying or browsing.
To captivate your audience, you must first realize your target market. Ask yourself the following questions first:
1. When people come to your site, are they researching, buying or browsing?
2. How long do I have to get them where I want them on my site before they leave?
3. What will make them come back?
Answering these three questions first will drastically change the way you start your design. For instance, if you are designing a large site for an online store, one answer you might come up with is, “I want the customer to be able to get anywhere on my site within two clicks.” This would drastically improve the chances of a viewer buying and coming back. Why? Because the site is easy to navigate, they know exactly what they want and they are in and out of there in 3 min or less. They may not consciously say this to themselves, but the way you have made their experience easy will imprint on their minds.
A key principle to learn here is: DRIVE YOUR VIEWER WHERE YOU WANT THEM TO GO AND DO NOT BOG THIER SENSES DOWN WITH THINGS THEY DO NOT WANT TO SEE.
Here is the bottom line. When designing, if a graphic/image has nothing to do with the site or driving your viewer to where they want to go fast, it will only slow them down. You would be surprised how many viewers you will loose, simply because they could not get where they wanted to go within three seconds or less. Images that have no business being there function like road blocks to your viewer.
Instead, create graphics that appeal to the needs of your viewer that will get them where they need to be and not to a competitor’s site.