Good website design matters more than you think.
In fact, the design of your website can be the make-or-break factor in someone making a sale or leaving your website and never coming back.
This is because of something known as the Halo Effect. The Halo Effect is the tendency for a positive impression in one area to positively influence one's opinions or feelings in other areas. According to behavioural psychology theories, trustworthiness, ease of use and higher value are all associated with aesthetic attractiveness.
Users have a tendency to judge the entire experience of a business on a single initial characteristic. Therefore a user’s initial impression of the design of your website could undermine their sense of trust in the product you’re trying to sell.
Good website = good product.
And so, conversely, a truly bad website can impact a customer’s long-term perception of the quality of your brand.
Are you with me?
Let’s break down what happens on your website:
- The average user spends less than 9 seconds assessing a website
- Because the user is human, they will tend to assign value to things they find visually appealing
- In order to make a successful sale, an e-commerce store must demonstrate that the value of the item will significantly outweigh the cost of purchasing that item
So it goes a little something like this:
User sees attractive thing > User associates positive feelings towards attractive thing > User decides this attractive thing has value > User decides to learn more about (or obtain) this attractive thing
Since all these assumptions are made within 9 seconds, you better make sure that 9 seconds really count.
There are many ways a website can convey the value of a product:
- Demonstrate supply and demand (people will pay more for something in high demand)
- Establish an emotional connection (crowdfunding products excel at this)
- Create social influence (we are social creatures, and want to be accepted)
- Compare it to something we already consider valuable
And finally, it’s important to consider the cognitive load of the user. Cognitive load directly relates to our inherent need to conserve energy. We favour subconscious thinking like recalling facts, over active thinking like solving maths problems. If we are required to overthink, we will miss essential information - and if we are required to think too much, we will often abandon the decision altogether.
It follows then, that the best e-commerce sites do not merely display their products. They establish and confirm the value of their products by creating a compelling user journey that will capture the attention of the user, convince them of its value and make it easy for them to complete the desired action.
A well-designed e-commerce store offers more than an obvious add-to-cart button. Each touchpoint of the website should be carefully thought out to ensure the right CTA is presented at the right time to ensure the best conversion rate.
So yes, the design really does matter - from your business cards, through to your website, first impressions count for more than you think. That first impression can make or break the user journey from start to conversion (and repeat conversion).
So I gotta ask: is your design up to scratch? Check out my design services to see what we can create together >