Does ugly matter for your business? It depends.
What is the purpose of your website? If the need of a user is transactional, don’t let the design slow down the sales process. If the need is informational, don’t hide your information.
Many amazingly successful websites look like they were designed by a high school computer wiz. The target is to satisfy the need of users. That’s all. Visitors don’t seem to care about design as long as there isn’t confusion across marketing channels.
Strive for ease of use and speed. Don’t force your users to subscribe, fill out a questionnaire, or dig around to find what they’re looking for.
There are many competing user needs for your website: customers, vendors, employees, investors/owners, and often regulatory requirements throughout. Enough competing needs that often require different websites to maintain marketing clarity. Let the data and marketing plan show effectiveness of the website and not whether it’s “ugly.”
As with any marketing (or any business activity), the answers lie in cost effective performance and measuring that performance is where correct Data Management lies.
What to do next?
First, don’t ask your neighbor, don’t ask your niece. Look at the data.
Data can tell you if your website is delivering value even if it’s considered “ugly”. Example metrics include: Traffic (yours and competitors), Time on Site, Leads, Sales, and one of our favorites: Calls asking for your fax. (Hint: include your fax number if you get calls). Use A/B testing throughout.
By looking at the data and using a “keep it simple” focus you can pick categories and even what should be placed on the front page.
Continuously gather data to compare against both your competitors and business goals. “Ugly” can be a design element if the data backs it up.
RadiusBridge® develops and supports custom data management systems for executives to know, protect, and grow their business.