Question: Why is it important to have a straightforward, uncluttered website? After all, shouldn’t prospective clients learn all about what a company has done to serve all its clients, so they can make a strong determination online about whether or not to buy the goods and/or services offered? Actually, the answer is no, and I’ll tell you some of the reasons why not.
If a site has too much information on it, the user can get bogged down in a milieu of detail, and miss the big picture. “What is it again that these people do?” They might ask. That’s clearly the wrong message companies want to send. Sometimes a site has too many bells and whistles on it or too many drill downs. Then the user may be distracted or potentially find themselves going down a path that takes him or her away from the message people are hoping to send, and they are trying to receive. Other times, a site can create a lot of frustration on the part of a user. Maybe they can’t find the phone number to contact the company, or are trying to pay for a product but the site makes it too difficult to do, so they give up. Again, this is not the company image that should be projected. First impressions are very important, indeed.
Creating a good, effective, easy-to-use website is often an art. It can be like writing a good story. You have plot (what the company does, and how it relates to its clients); People (the company employees, clients and even would-be clients who are the ones perusing the company’s website); and Place (where does the company do business, for instance, and what does the company feel like or look like in the mind’s eye to customers or potential customers?).
But how do companies best show potential customers who they are and what they have to offer on a website? It might be a good idea to do a little soul searching. What exactly is it that a firm provides its clientele? Think about both the tangibles and intangibles. Also, think about how the firm connects to its customers. Tangibles are obvious. But how does the product/service connect to people? What feelings are evoked?
For instance, a company that sells skis doesn’t just sell skis. They also sell to customers a sense of adventure, exhilaration; perhaps even a sense of freedom. How is that feeling reflected in a website? Often, on a ski company’s site, you will see a photo of a young man on a pair of the latest skis, racing down a hill of white powder, with a bright blue sky as a backdrop. Now, you’ve got a marriage of the tangibles and intangibles. Feelings can be created in a website with the use of color, photos, graphics and style. They communicate not only what a client does, but who they really are, and how they connect with people. Utilizing these methods can also greatly reduce word clutter. As we all are aware, a picture says a thousand words.