Reason #3: Being dazzled by pretty design

So far we’ve had two key reasons why corporate web sites struggle.

Continuing the three reasons, this one has been around since the dawn of corporate web sites themselves:

3. Being dazzled by pretty design

In the past 10 web site projects I’ve worked, 80% of the effort has gone into the design, 10% into the IT and 10% into the content.  Compare that to how users view those sites – 95% of their attention goes into content.

That’s actually quite common.  There is something strange about web sites that makes corporate management (or Universities or Government) want to be dazzled by something.  But does that actually matter?

It does – but only to a point.  Good design will carry off your brand and impress web site visitors of your professionalism, warmth or efficiency – but only to a point.  They’ve come to your web site for a reason – to book, enquire, research or participate.  They don’t come to your web site to admire your wonderful design abilities.  That’s why I find it strange that SO MUCH attention goes into what a web site actually looks like.

Especially in a world of mobile usage – INFORMATION design is important, but still companies, government departments and other business focus so much of their attention on the BRANDING design.

People care less about brand design now more than ever (and yes, I can actually hear the buttocks clenching of any designers reading) but the reality is that consumers want quick access to information wherever they are, whenever they are.  And any delay in that will ensure they take their business elsewhere, regardless of however the site is designed to be fresh, cutting-edge or <insert favourite design buzzword here>.

So let’s make sure we design to reflect our professionalism and our place in the market, but let’s start putting more energy into what people will find when they get there.

So that’s the third reason why web sites struggle – a focus on the wrong part of the site.  If your web site is like this, why not email me and share your experience.  Thanks to everyone who’s emailed so far.

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