Why First Impressions Count
We’ve all been there. It’s your interview day; you’re overly analysing every piece of attire; “Does this tie go with these shoes?”; “Does my shirt compliment my outlook?”; so on and so forth. And then… you’ve been, you’ve had the feedback and you’ve been offered the job! You think, “That wasn’t as bad as I was expecting!” YOUR first impression makes a lasting memory in the eyes of professionals. Yet, so often, we search the internet for products, services and think, “What a poor website”. Links might be broken, the colours might not match, or it might just look outdated, but already potential clients are questioning the product. I’m not in any way doubting your product, but you’re already on the back foot, so let’s look deeper into first impressions.
Business cards, flyers, posters, networking events – how very blasé you might be thinking – but we still use them for a very good reason. They just work! Companies wouldn’t invest their time (and money, naturally) into these methods if they weren’t effective. More often than not, our little business cards or flyers will feature our email addresses, usually an extension of your main website. I don’t know about you, but the first thing when I get home after an event is to go through the small pile of collected paper and look through their website. Before I even fire up my emails! It’s all well and good being able to talk the talk, inviting new business from me face-to-face, but if I go to your website and I don’t understand the product, or see relevance to the message you’re trying to deliver, or see a mishmash of formatting, messages and imaging, why should I invest more of my time (let alone my money) to research more about the company, its history and its message?
It’s not just a question of having a spectacular logo, either! As soon as I hit the front page of your site, I’m seeing a slogan, I’m seeing images, I’m seeing directions to pages. All too often, marketing collateral doesn’t even reflect the front page. Consistent, simplistic and aesthetic design are relevant points to any website, and if you’ve invested in someone designing a website, logo, or even done it all in-house, it must all work together. Obvious stylistic choices like colour are important, for example, (and I have seen this more than once) if your logo is red, then your branding should reflect that, rather than just using a completely different colour for the sake of it. Contrast is good, consistency is better. I understand good design, (and admire great design) but the choices you make on your website will impact a far wider number of people than you think. Business cards can offer class in a very small space, so why let your website run around with many different ideas?
The difference between a good website and a bad one is more than this, mind, but first impressions count. Always.