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  1. #1
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    Does website design matter in getting traffic?

    Is website design an important aspect for getting high traffic?

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Not really, but how you present your site and content can make a big difference in making it successful. For instance, if you are selling something you can have all the traffic you can handle, but if you site fails to convert visitors into buyers then it's not working.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    There's no simple answer to this question. Content trumps design every time, but design -- and equally if not more importantly, usability -- attracts new users and keeps them on the site once they're there. Designing for your target audience is very important. For example, a recent SP blog post features a site called Calliope, which is apparently some kind of women's clothing outlet. The site looks like the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. For me, that site sends me running, since I don't read fashion or celebrity mags. But I'm not the target audience. For potential users of that site, I imagine the site design works well, both in function and in form.

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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    While both of the previous answers are correct I must put something else forward as well. There is a psychological effect in design theory which passes down through psychology called attractiveness bias. The general principle of this is that humans are naturally attracted to beauty (no matter how we try and swing it), if a good looking woman walks past, mens heads turn! Now while the web isn't a beautiful woman the same principle applies. While content (in the case of a woman, personality) are what matters deep down and is the foundation of a long term relationship (with your visitors) the attractiveness of the exterior (the design) is important in engaging those initial first timers. Beauty wears off when you get to find out what is underneath the looks and with websites, what should be under is quality content. Though there is an exception to the rule which is "status", basically if you are famous you could pollute the web (or be as ugly as you like) but you will still get visitors purely on your name (Just look at Jakob Nielsons website useit.com as proof of concept).

    So in summary, the website design is very important not only in accessibility and usability but to attract people inititally and get them interested in what you are offering, if your website looks ugly from the offset the chances are most people naturally skip over and look elsewhere.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    Interestingly enough, Alex, I tend to get my info re Nielsen's usability tips from sites other than his. His site is so relentlessly unstyled that it bugs me. (And no, I didn't marry an underwear model. )

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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    Interestingly enough, Alex, I tend to get my info re Nielsen's usability tips from sites other than his. His site is so relentlessly unstyled that it bugs me. (And no, I didn't marry an underwear model. )
    It's design psychology 101, the attraction draws us in and the content keeps us there

    PS: For all we know you might have been an underwear model

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    SitePoint Enthusiast JustinMarch's Avatar
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    Take a look at "Don't make me think" by Steve Krug its usability focused and crosses over into the marketing side of things.
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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    PS: For all we know you might have been an underwear model
    You just keep thinking that, buddy. Actually, my wife was a stripper for a short while (true!), not sure what that counts for. She was also a cop, an MP, an Army drill instructor, a construction worker, and a biker.

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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Your wife was in the YMCA video?

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    SitePoint Addict Green Moon's Avatar
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    A nice looking site may indirectly help increase traffic. While there has to be good content for me to link to a site, I am much more likely to link to a that also is visually appealing. If I send someone to an ugly website, it would really have to have stellar content to offset the initial reaction that my readers would have when they first reach the site.

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    Design only matters to surfers. For long term traffic u have to have good content.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tariq1654 View Post
    Design only matters to surfers. For long term traffic u have to have good content.
    Somewhat true. Design gets users in the door, content and usability keeps them there.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Your wife was in the YMCA video?
    LOL, the only thing missing is the Indian chief....

  13. #13
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    why is design important to anybusiness?
    The answer to this becomes evident when you consider how we all choose among competing businesses. If you walk into a place of business and see that things are not cared for, or that things seem to be very disorganized, you probably won’t want to work with that company. The same principles apply on the web. When people visit a website that has a poorly designed interface, they don’t receive a good impression of the business. They may feel that this is not a "real" business. They may not even feel comfortable giving out credit card information on a website that looks like it might not be here to stay. Many people may decide to go elsewhere. Such a website may in fact belong to a wonderful business with the finest quality products and services. But the owners have underestimated the importance of good design. If a business chooses the false savings of having a website with poor quality of design, people may assume there is poor quality to the corresponding products and services. Simply put, first impressions are important! To return to our original metaphor, we feel the quality of your website’s design compares to that of a store front. Imagine two businesses side by side: one is beautiful and well kept, and the other is dilapidated and poorly kept—which one are you more likely to do business with?

    ....i hope this helps in deciding on the correct design and content....

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    While both of the previous answers are correct I must put something else forward as well. There is a psychological effect in design theory which passes down through psychology called attractiveness bias. The general principle of this is that humans are naturally attracted to beauty (no matter how we try and swing it), if a good looking woman walks past, mens heads turn! Now while the web isn't a beautiful woman the same principle applies. While content (in the case of a woman, personality) are what matters deep down and is the foundation of a long term relationship (with your visitors) the attractiveness of the exterior (the design) is important in engaging those initial first timers. Beauty wears off when you get to find out what is underneath the looks and with websites, what should be under is quality content. Though there is an exception to the rule which is "status", basically if you are famous you could pollute the web (or be as ugly as you like) but you will still get visitors purely on your name (Just look at Jakob Nielsons website useit.com as proof of concept).

    So in summary, the website design is very important not only in accessibility and usability but to attract people inititally and get them interested in what you are offering, if your website looks ugly from the offset the chances are most people naturally skip over and look elsewhere.
    interesting ananlogy !
    and I think I catch ur point !

  15. #15
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    It all depends on what the site is for.

    Compare 2 websites.. Craigslist and some Hair Salon
    Craiglists is used for posting ads.. thats all, they don't care how good or bad it looks, they want to see ads and that is it. But for instance a hair salon.. they need a site that shows of there skills and is very friendly.

    So you have to see first what kind of job it is and then design how important design is.


    BUT!

    No matter what website you make you always need to follow some basic rules to make sure its not some novice design that breaks all the basics rules.

  16. #16
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    CynicByDesign, contrary to what you have posted, attractiveness bias states that no matter what the purpose for the site existing is, the attractiveness is still key to its initial success, not to mention the usability of the website, your comparitive is stating nothing more than the priority of product placement, not the visual appearence of the website.

  17. #17
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    Design in terms of layout and content matters yes...and stay away from Flash. Otherwise, keep your content fresh with rss and other feeds and keep things very neat and tidy. Depending on where you live - US likes less content on the page, focused on a topic - Overseas tends to like more information and busier pages.
    Hope that helps.
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    Not really but a good web design can increase your conversion rate. Imagine if you come to a website with a lots of banner. Will you feel secure to buy the product from that website?.
    Affordable web design start from $599

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    An user friendly website design will help you to keep the visitors for a long time and make them to browse though various links. The visitor will perform an action only when they could find the things they want, easily on your website. Keep the navigation of your website simple to get more conversions for your online business success.
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  20. #20
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    A well look and attractive design of web site would be good for your web site and attract more visitors, but that not mean it can bring high traffic, for the most important thing which we have mentioned for many times is the content. Content determine whether visitors would come to your web site again or not.

  21. #21
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    A lovely design can garner you some buzz on other blogs and such as well, especially if it's featured on one of those '50 Best Ever Cart Designs'-type posts you see on design blogs. It may not all be convertible traffic (ie, many people stopping by are just looking at the shiny), but it's still excellent publicity.
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  22. #22
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raena View Post
    A lovely design can garner you some buzz on other blogs and such as well, especially if it's featured on one of those '50 Best Ever Cart Designs'-type posts you see on design blogs. It may not all be convertible traffic (ie, many people stopping by are just looking at the shiny), but it's still excellent publicity.
    Very true, theres tonnes of CSS galleries out there and a high quality website can cause infactuation to attractiveness bias causing the CSS Zen Garden effect where the buzz is all about how beautiful the website is rather than the content. It is much in the same way as people lust after a really beautiful person even though they probably in reality would not have anything in common with them or actually get on with them in real life

  23. #23
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    It is important to give the first best impression to browse through your site, but rreal good content should be there to retain the visitor for some time.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CynicByDesign View Post
    No matter what website you make you always need to follow some basic rules to make sure its not some novice design that breaks all the basics rules.
    I'm brand new at all this. I've recently worked through "Build Your Own Web Site..." and have come up with several sites of my own. I've not gone on-line with any of them yet, however, as reviews from various sources (friends with other browsers and just recently the Web Page Design/CSS fourm) have not been positive. Apparently my work is "some novice design that breaks all the basic rules."

    So the question, then, as I begin my latest re-design, is what are the basic rules?

    Thanks. RVC

  25. #25
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    There are too many rules to list, most of them are unwritten rules of design and important concepts to take into account. Generally speaking the concepts you want to follow are Accessiblity, Usability and Design Conventions. If you want some good books on the subject I recommend taking a look at...

    Universal Principles of Design (Rockport)
    Web Accessibility (FriendsOfED)
    Designing Web Usability (New Riders)
    The Design of Sites (Prentice Hall)
    Don't Make Me Think! (New Riders)

    Hope that's useful


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