… can be tricky to figure out, especially when you’re just starting out. Logos, CTA’s, User Experience, wireframes, conversion rates — there’s a lot to consider, and a bunch of rules that typically apply to go along with it. Rules are everywhere in life; Obey public street signs… Pick up your dog’s poop… And if you ever spent some time in Italy, you’ll know: don’t drink cappuccino past 11am. Some of these rules are excellent at keeping everyone and the neighbor’s cat happy, while others – well – only make sense to Italians. We, personally, aren’t sticklers for rules to begin with. But are aware we might be the exception. For many people, rules aren’t made to be broken. But trust us on this, not all rules get you where you want to be and the following are those kind of rules:
1. YOUR SITE SHOULD BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE
One of the biggest traps in repeatedly finding paying clients (especially for start-ups) is wanting to please everyone. To follow in the footsteps of Apple/Nike/insert-cult-brand-here. To win over every single person to buy your product and love your offering. Sure, wide reach and appeal is a great goal, and for some products and services, a large and varied target audience exists. But, if you’re trying too hard to accommodate both the college girl, her 50 year old father, also her older 25 year old cousin and the cousins boyfriend’s goldfish, you’re going to get yourself into a dead-end. It’s ok – and far smarter – to pick one style, or one person and commit to that direction 100%. You’ll end up with a much clearer vision, a strong story line and a website that converts.
2. YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD ALWAYS BE ON-TREND
We’ve all done it. We scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and lust over that latest web design that’s come out and fall in love. It’s the color of the season and it’s in all the right fonts. The people will love it! It’s so now! There’s the trap right there. If your website is trendy now, probably in about a year, it won’t be. There’s a fine line between trendy and dated, and you wanna get as far away from the line as possible. Your website has to be your website, speaking to your target audience. It’s more than likely that what’s currently trendy might not actually align with your core values and offerings.
3. YOU SHOULD PUT ALL FOCUS ON THE HOMEPAGE
Pretend your homepage is like the leading lady in a film. It’s beautiful, it’s well crafted and it’s the absolute hero of the story. But imagine the movie without the dorky-but-kinda-cute boy next door, the fun-loving best friend and the overbearing mother? Every hero needs their supports, and this goes for your homepage, too. A big rule of web design is that the homepage is the door opener, the very first impression. And as important as that is, whenever that first impression got your audience hooked, don’t disappoint them with an about page that feels and reads like an afterthought or a snooze fest of a service page. Think of your website as this beautiful house, Joanna & Chip Gaines just renovated; where your guest are drawn from room to room, falling more and more in love with every step they take. And when their are done with the tour, they definitely want to sit down with you and chat about what you can do for them over a hot cup of coffee from that gorgeous Magnolia Market mug!