What makes a website resonate?

The site loads and then your customers feel it—a stirring inside that says, “Yes, this feels right. Brain, you now have instant permission to be awed. Go and click the call to action!” How does this happen? How can a website design help in converting casual surfers to real customers? It really boils down to Messaging, Emotion and Content.

Messaging

A website is as only good as its message. Once it is finely honed, then the design can amplify that message, which then resonates with the customer.  If there is no clarity in the messaging, then no measure of fancy modern design trends will make up for it. The design breaks down and simply becomes ornamentation.

From a designer’s perspective, having a clear message provides a sort of mind-map for the project, allowing structure to ideas and concepts that support the message. It makes the job of choosing navigation, colors, layouts, textures, imagery, typography and iconology that much easier because everything flows from the messaging. Once the designer has created a visual vocabulary of sorts that represents the messaging, then it is simply a matter of staying true to that vocabulary throughout the process.

More Heart, less Brain

A well-crafted site that has clear messaging which resonates with its customers does it by connecting with the heart first. The business world tends to be logical and analytical, but we are by very nature emotional creatures. Good design hooks the emotion, and then prepares the brain for a call to action.

There is a saying in design circles: “A user interface is like a joke—if you have to explain it, it’s not that good.” An intuitive experience on a site allows the design to get out of the way and simply support the messaging, thereby helping to creating resonance in their target customer.

Content

Good design alone cannot get the job done. Content must be a strategic part of any website project, and must support the messaging goals of the company. Messaging comes through from design and content.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are lots of dynamics at play with regard to the design and development of a site—but when you think about your customer first and what drives them, then the development of a site will flow with much more clarity of purpose.


Miguel Khoury

Miguel Khoury has been a designer for over 20 years. Miguel fell in love with the Mac at its introduction in 1985, and has been an Apple evangelist ever since. Over that time, he has actively participated in the design world’s evolution from print to interactive media to the web. A graduate of the University of Hawaii with a degree in Psychology, Miguel has always been fascinated by the intersection of technology and human perception. He considers himself a perpetual student of design, continually inspired by learning innovative new techniques in interface design, search engine optimization and mobile responsiveness. Miguel specializes in handcrafted WordPress design and development, and occasionally dips into branding and print work as the project requires. He openly admits to having a huge crush on WordPress, due to its versatility, adaptability and collaborative nature.

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