Whether you’re a lone IFA or owner of a large financial planning firm, it’s likely your company website is the means by which you’ll make a first impression. Your website is viewed and perceived solely at face value and only has a few seconds to win over your audience. Eight seconds, according to workplace diversity consultant Serenity Gibbons.
Bearing in mind that nothing will ever be able to live up to everybody’s tastes, there are some web design fundamentals:
Quick and stress-free navigation:
A good call to action is key and there’s nothing better than clearly-labelled, good-sized navigation buttons which take the viewer to one page and offer one outcome as opposed to barraging them with unwanted pop-ups. The last thing we need is an overly-complicated website that could make the already daunting task of seeking financial advice for the first time, seem like yet another thing that makes clients want to run for the hills!
We. All. Love. Pictures! *Warning, another human fact incoming* – we are more attracted and responsive to round-ish images that contain curves than to images containing points and sharp edges. Your brain processes curves as a lack of threat. To show off your real tech-savvy-ness why not consider a moving image, demo or some kind of animation. Note – make sure any images including people don’t create too much of a narrative for the viewer. Unless it relates directly to your brand or services, this could turn into a distraction.
Be mindful of inclusion by making your website accessible to those who may have sight or visual impairments. Technology such as screen magnifiers and readers, screen hue controllers and speech recognition tools are a great way of making your website accessible to anyone who wants to explore your site.
Less is more. If you’re having a leisurely Sunday morning scroll and happen to stumble across a website, you won’t scan through paragraph after paragraph to find the answer, as doing this is going to exceed your (possibly already sceptical) viewer’s eight-second ‘win them over’ period and they will probably leave your website feeling annoyed. Make your main point quickly and clearly and keep it simple and jargon-free to ensure a pleasant experience on your site for newbies. At the risk of cancelling out potential audience members, make sure any content or blog posts aren’t too controversial or could be misconstrued as offensive.
RWD (responsive website design, not Craig David and the Artful Dodger 😄):
As we are all aware, you can now do pretty much anything using your mobile phone. Case in point – for hungry locals in Shenzhen, you can now order a drone to drop off a steamy portion of noodle soup for you while you’re on the move. If your website adapts to any device, no viewer should have difficulty locating the info you want them to read the most, whether that be from a smartphone, tablet, gaming device, TV or desktop…and so the list goes on! Accessibility + wide range of responsive devices = more awareness and depending on your goals, more sales!
Taking note of these core pillars, along with a website that is clear, concise and easy on the eye, should help make your ‘virtual first impression’ a good one.
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