3 Strategies for Design that Look Great, Work Great and Actually Sell

It’s not uncommon for different stakeholders to have different opinions about the right design decisions for your company. Engineering is focused on the efficiency and sustainability of the website or software product. Marketing is focused on conversion rates and acquisition. Design is focused on a delightful, clear and seamless user experience.

It’s important to remember what the common end-goal is and to have a common language to discuss our decisions and understand when our values may be in conflict so that we can leverage the strengths of a team in a way that makes the site or software product strong and balanced in all areas.

Let’s take a look at some common scenarios where these values conflicts might happen:

Scenario 1: The Car Salesman – All Sales and No Value

The sales-focused stakeholder is inclined to try every possible conversion optimization technique and the site becomes a barrage of pop ups, lead magnets, and gimmicks. While tests to improve the conversion rate are super important, pushing it too far can hurt brand quality and disrupt users’ purchase process.

Finding the balance –

  • Find language that is compelling, yet still feels authentic to the brand and not overly aggressive.
  • Avoid disrupting user tasks (especially if they’re already about to make a purchase).
  • Make sure that your sales focused features actually are contributing to conversion and if they’re not, remove them. If they are, keep testing optimizations to that one pop up/form/feature without adding more all over the site.
  • If you want to get you have to give. What quality content and functionality are users getting from your site/software that they in turn want to pay for or spend time on?

Scenario 2: The Art Project – All Form and No Function

The product/site is so beautiful it brings tears to your eyes, but no one knows how to use it and they’re definitely not purchasing anything from it. If it’s beautiful but it doesn’t convert, it might be in danger of becoming more of an art project than a business.

Finding the balance –

  • Identify the key value props for your product and make sure they’re clearly represented on the first view the user sees of your site or software.
  • The navigation should clearly represent the tasks I can do that are going to give me value from your product.
  • Make sure there are clear calls to action for the things you want the user to do and that the user is most likely to want to do. Guide them visually towards their most common tasks.

Scenario 3: The Tin Man – All Function and No Heart

I understand what the product is and how to use it, but it’s as sterile as the dentists’ office. No matter how logical we think we are, people respond to companies whose values they can share and who they think they can relate to. Too much sounding professional and robotic, and potential users may fall asleep before they can get any value from what you have to offer. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a new user and experience your site and marketing content with fresh eyes. Does it feel like an actual group of people with actual value to offer? If not, you may be in danger of the tin man scenario.

Finding the balance –

  • Identify the authentic values and personality of your company/team.
  • Identify the kind of voice that represents you and sprinkle it throughout the site.
  • Consider themes and storytelling that can grab users’ attention and make you memorable. For example, MailChimp, Hipmonk, and DuoLingo all use a great, authentic voice that make them memorable and relatable.
  • Remember to think like a human. If it’s boring and dry when you look at it or read it, your customers are going to feel the same way.

[If you’re worried that you might be falling into one of these categories, we can help you out! Just drop us a line.]

Three Techniques for Great Design that Sells

Here are three techniques to consider as you master the art of the design, functionality, and sales balance that is so necessary in the modern online world:

1. Gamification

Incorporating game-like elements into your website can be a simple way to boost user engagement, prolong the customer journey, gain access to valuable user data and generate additional revenue streams. You’re more likely to keep the attention of users if you develop some sort of reward system, giving them a vested interest in furthering the relationship.

2. Omnichannel campaigns

Adding social media patches to your site is easy, increases the user’s ability to move between your channels and won’t muddy your design. Craft a marketing strategy to encourage user participation across channels, and you’re likely going to be able to generate additional sales without having to make any serious design changes.

3. Creating gifts that give back

These days retaining a users’ attention is like gold. In order to get users interested in coming back, businesses have to be more creative than ever in creating content that users find valuable so that they’ll keep coming back for more. Create quality lead magnets (ebooks, online courses, valuable reports, etc) that give users something of value in return for their contact information, and make sure that the gift actually is valuable so that those users trust what you have to offer and will be receptive to your messaging in the future.