How to make your website “stick”
Recently, I’ve read a book called Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath – a book that theorizes which ideas are more likely to be remembered and engaging while other ideas are forgotten and dismissed. The authors propose that whatever your idea, your speech, or your presentation must include all of the following 6 key ingredients to be remembered by your audience: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story (See the image above).
It was an enlightening book to say the least. If you are serious about improving the communication between your business and your customers, I highly recommend this book.
APPLYING THE 6 PRINCIPLES TO YOUR WEBSITE
The Heaths’ idea can be applied to a web design. The idea is, when you apply these 6 principles to your website, it will make your business more memorable and hopefully actionable, where it will encourage the visitors to take some sort of action based on what they saw on your website.
1. Make Your Website Simple
From our previous blog post, you know that people on the Internet are busy folks. They simply don’t like to read. Rather, they scan your page to see if they can extract bits and pieces of information that they’re looking for. So clean up your website. Simplify all the paragraphs into short yet profound sentences.
2. Unexpectedness can be found on the design
The web surfers of today are familiar with how the websites are supposed to look and behave. To create unexpectedness, you must design your website that is out of the ordinary, which usually involves using some extreme techniques (Think images outside the box, unbalanced contrast in colors, or creating a simpler than expected website, like our website, for example).
3. Don’t let your users guess what you’re trying to say.
Make all your messages concrete. In the advertising world, the thought-provoking ads are something of a trend (i.e. AT&T’s “Rethink Possible”). But what does that even mean? Go for more concrete messages like “We are the most affordable web developers in Spokane, WA” or “Get $300 in business for every $100 marketing dollar you spend with Tubird”.
In terms of the web design, this means putting your clients list, testimonials, reviews, etc about your company. Publishing your company’s address, phone number, or any other contact information also says you have nothing to hide.
5. Design your site to evoke emotions
We will write more on this subject as it can’t be summarized into a single paragraph. However, the idea is that you need to control the emotion of your visitors both with your content and with the design. If you own a spa business, for instance, you want to create a sense of serenity and calmness while a family restaurant should have a website that looks fun and happy.
6. Tell a Story
This can be in the form of doing case studies for your past clients, success stories of those who used your products. People will relate to your business much easier when they can identify their needs with others that have already gone through the same issue – and succeeded.
To summarize, it’s important to understand that designing a website isn’t just designing a site. It’s about making sure that once someone arrives to your website, your site will do its job of converting a lead into a customer. Applying these 6 principles of good web design will most certainly help lead you in the right direction.
We will write more on these principles in great detail later, so stay tuned if you’re looking for more “concrete” answers as to how you can apply these principles to your own website.