Creating a website for your business is exciting. You get to choose colours, images, and content that reflect your brand. It’s tempting to want a completely unique website that stands out. However, data shows that visitors prefer sites with familiar layouts and elements. There are good reasons to make your website about 80% like everyone else’s in your niche.
The power of prototypical design
We all have an idea in our minds of what certain types of websites should look like. For example, law firm sites tend to be conservative with lots of text, while travel sites have big photos and visual elements. This is called prototypicality. When something matches the prototype we expect, it’s easier for our brains to categorise and understand.
Research shows that prototypical website design leads to better user experience. Visitors spend more time on the site and find information faster when the layout and navigation match their expectations. Going too far outside the norms for your industry makes your site confusing.
Focus attention on your value
Maintaining a familiar web design primarily allows you to direct visitors’ attention towards your unique value proposition. When the design is overly complicated or deviates significantly from industry standards, it’s the design itself that visitors notice, not your products or services. A prototypical site, on the other hand, guides the focus toward your content, ensuring that your message is the star of the show rather than flashy graphics or distracting animations.
Studies of successful websites consistently reveal that the most effective web design is clean, simple, and in harmony with industry norms. Creative visuals should complement and enhance the core content, not overshadow it. The ultimate goal is to make your value immediately apparent to visitors so they can quickly understand what your business offers.
Originality has its place
Does this mean you should avoid infusing your website with your creative spirit altogether? Certainly not! Originality can be a valuable asset, provided it is employed judiciously to accentuate what makes your business unique. Here are some ways to do so:
Unique features: Consider incorporating unique features or functionalities that set your website apart. For instance, if you’re an e-commerce store, you could implement an innovative shopping cart system or offer a personalised shopping experience.
Engaging content: Craft compelling and informative content that stands out. This can include blog posts, articles, or videos that offer valuable insights or entertainment related to your niche.
Interactive tools: Develop interactive tools or calculators that engage your visitors and provide them with practical benefits. For example, a mortgage calculator for a real estate website can be a helpful and unique addition.
Case studies: If applicable to your business, create detailed case studies that illustrate how your products or services have benefitted your clients. This can demonstrate your expertise and unique approach.
Unique branding elements: Explore distinctive typography, colour schemes, and visual motifs that reflect your brand’s identity and values. These can be incorporated into your website’s design and content.
Engaging user experience: Invest in an exceptional user experience by making your website intuitive, user-friendly, and responsive. This will set you apart from competitors with clunky or outdated websites.
By carefully selecting where to inject originality, you can create a website that not only adheres to industry expectations but also offers unique and valuable experiences to your visitors. The key is to strike a balance that captures your audience’s attention and provides them with the information and engagement they seek.
Blend in while standing out
In conclusion, it’s clear that a harmonious blend of prototypical web design with a touch of originality is the path to a successful website. The key is to ensure that visitors can quickly recognize the nature of your business and find the information they seek.
So, embrace prototypical web design while sprinkling your own unique flair throughout your site. Here’s a quick summary of tips for achieving this ideal balance:
- Prioritise familiarity: Stick to industry norms when it comes to layout and navigation, making it easy for visitors to understand and navigate your site.
- Direct attention to your value proposition: Ensure your content takes centre stage, making it easy for visitors to grasp what your business offers.
- Infuse originality carefully: Use originality to highlight what makes your business special, with a unique logo, niche-specific images, well-crafted content, and tasteful decorative touches.
By following these guidelines, you can create a website that blends in with industry standards while standing out as a unique and valuable resource for your target audience. Ultimately, it’s the perfect recipe for a website that leaves a lasting impression on your visitors.