If you’re a blogger or entrepreneur, your online presence is important–it’s the best way to reach your audience (or, perhaps your only way). We all know that the content is the most important part, but design is a close runner-up.
A Snap Decision
A user takes about half a second (that’s right: five-hundred milliseconds) to make a decision about a site. That split-second is the difference between the user staying or leaving. Whether or not you’ll get a subscriber or customer.
Regardless of content, the visitor will judge your site simply based on what it looks like. You might offer a great service or provide superb content, but the user may not have the chance to read about it because he/she has already left, thinking it is a low quality service or out-of-date due to the design.
What Does This Say about the Web Community?
Does the fact that we judge based on looks say something about the Web community? Are we a prejudiced group? There is the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
In school, students are taught to read the synopsis and first few pages before deciding whether or not to read the book. Perhaps we should take the same approach with the Web.
Recognizing the Problem
Spicing up your website might attract more people. How do you know though if your site needs touching up? What you can do is ask someone else to look at your site and provide objective feedback.
Or, you could do it yourself by pretending that you are someone who is seeing this site for the first time. This is not as effective as the first method, but works nonetheless.
Here are some blogs and sites that have unique, impressive designs that we can all learn from:
- Web Designer Depot
- Site Sketch 101
- Mail Chimp
Fixing the Problem
If your site actually require design improvements there are various ways to approach it.
- Hire a designer. Contact me.
- Find another theme or template.
- Learn CSS and HTML to edit your design.
Often, a site will look aged if it is not with the current styles. You can try changing the fonts, changing the background, and mixing up the layout to spice it up. Remember, pretend that when you’re looking at your site it’s the first time. Would you stay or not?