Designer Creates Bad Digital Impression?

Editions|Artists’ Book Fair
Editions|Artists’ Book Fair (Photo credit: j-No)

9 Ways for interior designers to create a bad impression – digitally of course!

When you first present to your newest prospect I’m pretty sure that you will be wearing your best ‘business’ clothes. When you first speak to a new client I’m sure you will make a real effort to do your best. When you send out a brochure or some other paper based literature I’m sure you will have it looking good. Hopefully too you take first emails seriously. And yes I’m sure your website looks great as well.

So all is hunky dory right? you can stop reading now and move on 🙂

Well firstly, before I get into the meat of the subject matter that drew you here, I suggest that one exercise you can do on a Friday afternoon is to write down EVERY single TYPE of point of contact that you make with clients. I’ve gone through a few of them in the opening to this post. No rocket science there. However what I suggest you do is really think if they all present a coherent view, when taken together, of you and your business. Do they look similar enough and do they say similar things and present similar images?

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Just like that fine evening wear you have to impress on really special occasions and turn heads as you walk in the room all these points of contact between your business and your potential client are the same thing FOR YOUR BUSINESS (business? you know that thing that pays for the evening wear).

Well I’m going to talk a little about how to create a BAD digital first impression focussing on your website. So You need to look at the first page that people most often go to. In techie terms these are ‘landing pages’; they might include your home page or any special page that Google Adwords points to on your site or any page of yours that ranks particularly highly and get a lot of ‘hits’.

So to create  a BAD first impression here’s what your landing pages need to do:

  1. No Graphics: No logo, no head-shot of a smiley-you and certainly NOT clickable.
  2. Poor Content: Be sure to include waffle and irrelevance to the reason that drew the click..
  3. Lots of words and certainly no Bullet Points as bullet points are too easy to read.
  4. No Call to Action – an even better bad impression can be created if you make it as obscure as possible for the visitor to know what to do next. Perhaps presenting a beautiful image but making it as annoying as possible by adding some music and not making it obvious how to proceed to ANYWHERE else – Designers’ websites are OFTEN like this!
  5. White Papers, Videos, Registrations, etc: OK you might have accidentally put some of these on your website to be helpful but you can soon change any good impression that that might make by giving them away without even getting the visitor’s email.
  6. Confirmation/Thank You Pages: How rude! you forgot to add one of these and to make matters worse it didn’t offer the visitor another idea of what they could do on your site.
  7. Testing changes you make might improve a visitor’s experience to your site. So you certainly don’t want to do that..
  8. Google: create a bad impression with google as well. Ideally you will name your pages PAGE01, PAGE02 and so on. Never include keywords in the name of a page as that might help Mr Google do his job.
  9. Speling mstakes. Sme ppl really hate splling mistakes and abbreviations. Include a few to enrich their day.
  10. Always fail to deliver. Like by having 10 reasons rather than the advertised 9 reasons. Laugh! We might but our client’s probably won’t.

Am I perfect? No! Do I make these mistakes? Yes of course. It does provide some food for thought though.

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