Optimize For Conversions Or Beauty?

If you’re creating a new website or thinking about revamping your existing one, a good place to start is to ask yourself what the ultimate objective is. Is higher conversions the goal or are you more inclined toward aesthetics? Ideally, you’ll want something that looks great and does the job it’s meant to do. That’s how you make your site is aligned with your business and give your users a pleasant experience as well.

When it comes to optimizing user experience, you may have to make some design sacrifices along the way, such as dropping visual elements that don’t add to the experience, or tinkering with the layout so it looks perfect in terms of conversions, but perhaps not in terms of looks. Aesthetics can only get you so far. The existence of traditionally ‘ugly’ sites such as Craigslist, Dmoz and Amazon which do such an amazing job of converting users shows that beauty is definitely not the most important aspect of a website’s success. It sure helps to have a great-looking site but it’s often not as important as you think.

A strong value proposition is critical in shaping the success of a website. For example, DigiServed is all about shopping for creative services easily, Mailchimp streamlines how you send electronic messages to your mailing list, and Evernote lets you take notes and reminds you what you need to get done. A strong value proposition, coupled with a good pitch made to the right audience can help your site attract users and achieve great metrics.

Another good piece of advice is to keep it simple. The simpler, the better. If you don’t clutter your page with distractions, your users will intuitively do what you want them to. Every page has a purpose and it should be evident to users at a glance. Improper design can often defeat that purpose, and should be avoided.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that can ‘kill’ an otherwise great page: http://bit.ly/1gG5XOA