Go for the WOW Factor

One of the most important facets of designing any of our websites is not only to have useful and valuable content, because that’s easy to find, it’s having a killer website design to keep your visitors coming back. The difference between a ‘smashing‘ and ‘ho-hum’ boring is a different as comparing an elephant to a mouse. You know when you’ve attained a great site by asking people who do NOT know you to check it out. Once they’ve clicked into it, do they, ‘That’s nice.What did you want me to look at?’ Or, do they go “WOW!”

At World Nexus Publications, our web design concepts strive to integrate most, if not all of the following points to win that ‘WOW FACTOR’ many sites just don’t have. While keeping simple for a visitor to find what they deem relevant or the data they searched for. We believe that in order for an intended audience to feel rewarded, data must be easy to locate, useful and concise, and then display that subject-matter in a way that demonstrates a visible design of intelligence.

Conceptual Design

“We believe that every great design should have meaning — not just a pretty and interesting layout, with beautiful graphics, alluring shapes, or striking typography — but where every element has an acute inspiration behind it; something about the client that relays their intention about their underlying project.” — Jari Mikkola, Director

Sadly though, many web designers often focus on aesthetics that only incorporate nice-looking shapes without really understand the meaning behind them. Or worse, they design the client’s entire website off a preexisting framework (client’s or otherwise) without an understanding what impact an original design might have on the real meaning for the client’s design or redesign.

What Picasso really meant by this, is that nearly every artist is greatly influenced by other people’s work and what has been done before; whether intentionally or unwittingly. Regardless of how an artist is exposed people are influenced by everything and everyone around them; people, art, film, or books…and are somehow influenced either consciously or subliminally. We are all products of the age and we have all benefited by those who have walked down the same similar path we find ourselves on.

Designers all borrow, and yes some steal, because the wheel as already been discovered and we are not its originators. When a designer (web or artist) merely copy they may be taking someone else’s existing interpretation, but done not off with it. Artists may steal an idea or a concept, but they create from that something to make it their own by taking say an important artistic element, interpret it your way that gives it a new meaning by which they create a different approach. And it cannot be done by merely copying the idea. A good web designer may extract ideas from other sources, but a great web designer ill never do everything exactly as it had previously been done., otherwise the design concept will fail when it has simply been duplicated. Creativity is the key to great conceptual design…go sideways, go up, go down, and even go backwards with an idea and it’s not stealing anything, nor is it being copied. Otherwise the designer has failed the client.

Brainstorm a Developing Concept

We’ve all hear  the idioms “Think outside the box,” “drum to the beat of a different drummer”, and “paint within the lines,” but what it really means eludes many web designers, who themselves are artists. All because the don’t dare look outside the box, under the box or all around the box. They make mistake of falling in love with the very first idea that pops into their head. Think of it like buying a car.

Do you just buy the first car you look at, pay the price on sticker, and accept the financing the dealer offers? A wise buyer would never do any of these…they take time to write down what they want, shop around to find it, investigate creative financing, and as ask for other people’s opinions.

Here at World Nexus Publications, we brainstorm ideas for a conceptual design as a team with the client. We throw out any idea or concept that pops into our head and run with them. No idea is too fantastic, too stupid, too crazy, nor impossible and no one ridicules any idea. All because they spark creativity and everyone’s comments are valuable one way or another. It’s from these ideas we pick the best and present them to our client. If they like it, we run with it. If they don’t, we get a better idea about what the client really wants and needs, after which we again hold another ‘brain-storming’ session until they don’t just like, they absolutely love it.

All-in-all, it allows everyone to ‘buy into’ the project and by so doing everyone becomes enthusiastic when everyone is in agreement. The underlying message here being — have fun with it . . . because that’s what makes each project new, fun, exciting, and rewarding for all parties involved and it becomes not just a ‘good’ website for the client, but a ‘fantastic’ one.

Avoid “SAY WHAT?”

Ambiguity should not be the reason your visitors exit a website in haste. In order for the design, the concept, and the delivery concept to succeed, it must well ‘focused’ and ‘SPOT ON.’ You have less than 8 seconds to communicate your message to your visitor before they move on to the next website on their Google search. Meaning, everything must come together immediately and be clear as crystal as to the products, services and information the website offers.

1.  Headers should visible and concise, navigation simple, and most of all have a clean uncluttered appeal.

2. Photos and graphics should be clear, crisp and relevant with as much resolution to stand up today’s LED and plasma monitor scrutiny — never expand a photo or graphic just to make them fit. Don’t take short cuts here.. .otherwise ‘WOW’ goes out the window regardless of how well the design may be, it looses a visitor’s interest and/or meaning in less than 8 seconds.

Which Would YOU Rather Have on YOUR Site?

Try a quick experiment. Turn on the TV with NO volume, scan to see how soon you can find a program or channel you just don’t watch. Once you’ve found one, ask yourself, ‘WHY?’ Most likely it’s because the programs may be non-remastered reruns, they are out of proportion, and images are blurred. Odds are if you don’t watch that channel not too many people do either.

Now do the same thing, then stop at the first commercial that catches your eye. Is there any difference? Usually slightly if you have an older television, but on the newer ones, they pay attention to color, clarity and message. Did you get the ‘WOW Factor’ feel at all? Probably not . . .

3. Refrain from adding content, simply to add content. In this case ‘less is more.’  And what content you do post, should be well separated to avoid ‘information overload clutter.’

4. Main message first, and necessary or relative informational content in a less conspicuous area of your website; perhaps a FAQ page. Consider creating and proper placing; Editorial Sections, Articles & How-To Guides, a Knowledge Base or Glossary of Terms, FAQs or Q/As, News Stories vs. subject related topics, forums are pretty much dead but prime access to social networking, blog, and search.

The difference between the ‘SAY WHAT ‘and the ‘WOW Factor’ is like comparing bumper cars at Coney Island to taking a ride on the Space Shuttle…a big, BIG difference. Remember, you only have one chance to make that  ‘first impression,’ make it count!