A Book by its Cover

There’s an old saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  While to some extent that might be true, we’ve all been in Barnes & Noble looking for a new book only to pass over any that have an uninteresting cover.  If some image or title doesn’t grab our attention immediately, we move on.  We just don’t have the time to find out if something is good or not if it doesn’t look instantly appealing.

The same thing is true for a website.  Some might say that you shouldn’t judge a website by its homepage, but we all do – especially customers.  You can spend days writing perfect copy for your site.  You can invest hours into making the pages say exactly what they should.  You can spend thousands on test groups to ensure that your site will get people to buy what you want them to.

But it all goes to waste if the website’s design lacks.  Just like when they are in Barnes & Noble looking at those book covers, if your company’s site doesn’t look attractive, they’re likely to hit that back button before they even read any of that perfect copy.

In today’s overloaded cyberworld, customers on a mission to buy something will not spend more than a few seconds on a website that isn’t appealing.  Your site has just a few seconds to capture their attention and hold on to it.  No pure text can do that.  Only awesome design can do that.  That’s exactly why what a website looks like is more important than what it says. That’s not to say that your copy isn’t important.  It is.  But nobody will read it if it doesn’t look like it’s worth the time – just like no one reads a book whose cover isn’t captivating.

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