Do you like to go and look at art? I do, perhaps more than a lot of people. Have you ever visited an art gallery or a museum and noticed the single person sitting on a bench in the middle of the room, staring at the image in front of her? The one who sits there when you enter the room and is still sitting motionless in the same spot when you leave? It can be me. I can be totally lost in a piece of art and never get tired of looking. Luckily I almost always have plenty of time when looking at art.
Looking at homepages to find somebody who can help me with something is, however, quite another story. I am not on the internet to slowly enjoy art.
If what I find on a homepage is nothing more than a huge moody photo without any text except “welcome” or “start here” I get somewhat annoyed.
I am not at an art exhibition. Why do business owners hide their valuable core services behind a curtain like this? A big image, however beautiful it may be, tells me nothing. Am I in the right place to get the help I need?
I think creating one’s own homepage can lead to a great amount of “home-blindness”. Passionate entrepreneurs are so immersed in their own stuff that they think their business idea must be as clear to anyone else as it is to them. This is not the case. We need to know.
How did I end up on your home page? Via an address on a business card or a google search? Because of a tip someone gave me? Regardless, I don’t know as much about your business as you do yourself. I need to have things explained to me and it has to be quick. You have to tell me in a way that captures my interest and makes me stay longer than 3-5 seconds. This is how long we know people stay on a page if they cannot make any sense of what they see. If I don’t understand what you do and how you can help me, I will move on to a page that is able to tell me.
Have I stopped loving images? Of course not! The old saying that an image can say more than 1000 words is still valid. However, when communicating to a market, the combination of the right image and a sharpened text seems to be the best solution. Texts and images communicate in quite different ways. If used wisely, they can complement and enhance each other.
When I finally leave the museum, after having been staring at images for a long time, I bring home all the thoughts, ideas and associations that entered my mind while contemplating the art. These thoughts are mine only and serve me alone. The artist, who even may have been dead for many years, did not have any intention of his visual expression leading to a certain behavior on my part.
A home page on the other hand has some very clear intentions.
Call to action! We who have homepages, use them to get in touch with customers and clients, people we like to help or inform.
We absolutely want to change their behavior.
We want them to stay on our pages, find what they are looking for and finally contact us in some way or buy something. Since we cannot expect them to sit and stare at our website for hours, the communication needs to be fast and effective.
Creating good homepages is truly an art,
but homepages are not art.
Three things that I find important
when looking for something on the internet:
1. Let me know that I am in the right place.
I need something. It may be a service, a product or information.
You can provide what I am looking for. Let this be very clear at once,
so I don’t give up and go elsewhere.
2. I wish to interact with or buy from people I like and trust.
Please convince me that the people behind your website are such people.
3. Let it be very easy for me to find the thing that is for ME.
It is great when I don’t have to plow through lots of information aimed at other target groups before I find my stuff. It is a challenge to know where to start, if you want to work with the visual branding and graphic design for your business. Let’s have a talk on Skype or telephone to see how I can help you, starting at the point you’re at right now. I am curious about what you have to say. There is no cost for this call. Book a call by sending me an e-mail on: firstname.lastname@example.org