Re-designing your website can be like standing in the middle of Grand Central Station on stilts. You feel uncomfortable, overwhelmed and trapped. You don’t know how to make a move without potentially tripping. You know you need to do something, and you want it to be professional. Where do you start?
Should you use a template? What colors do you want? What kind of design will look good? Many articles tout the ’25 best’ websites. But what is best for you?
You are starting in the wrong place. Take off those stilts and sit down. Get comfortable. We’re going to talk about YOU.
Your personality is the one factor that will make your website unique among all other sites. Think about the following:
- What do I want to say with my website?
- Things I stand for
- My values and vision for my business
- Who is my audience?
When we design a new website or re-design an existing one, the first thing we look for is your personality, what is important to you and to whom you intend to speak. Then, and only then, can the journey of creating a website truly begin. You will start to communicate clearly, truthfully and in a human-to-human manner.
You’ll achieve this not by adding fancy tools and the latest technology to your site. When it comes to technology, we are all a bit like crows. The shinier the object, the better. While technology is great, and we all appreciate a well-designed website, it is not the thing that connects people to you.
Your personality shining through in your design and content reaches your audience in a way that is tangible. It gives your audience a voice they hear when they read. Using this personality to engage your visitors on an emotional level is very much akin to meeting someone for the first time. It helps us determine if this experience will be good or bad, if we can trust the message and the messenger.
Emotional connection also affects our long-term memory. When you connect with someone or something on an emotional level, you are 90% more likely to buy. Why is that? Your amygdala (region of your brain) uses sensory experiences to perceive outcomes, and makes split-second calculations about the emotional significance of events. It takes note of these events and catalogs them for future use. Think of this like your brain using lots of Post-it notes.
So, how do you start? You can begin by answering these questions:
- If your website were a person, who would it be? What attributes would he/she have?
- What is your brand identity or personality? i.e. playful, fun, authoritative, likeable.
- Is there a visual image that illustrates your brand, such as a person or mascot?
- Name at least five traits that describe your brand.
- How would your brand speak? What would its tone sound like?
- Colors and typography are also part of your personality ‘package’. Which ones help communicate your personality?
Taking the time to explore these questions will give you or your website designer and content writer powerful tools to create personality, or ‘voice’ of your website. Don’t forget to speak directly to your audience with design elements and content. Next month, I will share with you some tips for doing just that.
In the meantime, go captivate your audience!