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Website Design: It's Not About You (It's About Them)

Ever walk into a room decorated entirely in neon pink and animal prints because the owner just loves it? While self-expression is important, that doesn’t always translate to good design, especially when it comes to websites. As a web designer, I see this a lot: clients wanting their website to reflect their personal taste, regardless of whether that serves its purpose best. Let me tell you a little story…

For years, I didn’t like the color orange. It just screamed “construction cones” to me, not exactly the vibe I wanted to evoke on a website. So, orange was banished from my design palette. None of my designs used it. Not a single pixel. Until one fateful project, the client loved orange. Like, really loved it. I did my best to sell every other color under the sun for that website. But the client was persistent, and eventually, I relented. To my surprise and chagrin, the orange worked beautifully! It was vibrant, energetic, and perfectly fit the brand’s message.

That experience was a huge eye-opener. My personal bias had blinded me to the potential of an entire color palette! It really brought it home for me that good design isn’t about personal preference, it’s about what works.

Here’s why ditching your personal biases can benefit your website:

  • Users Don’t Care About You (As Much As You Think)

    Yes, your website reflects your brand, but ultimately, it’s for your users. Their needs, preferences, and expectations should be your top priority. Imagine visiting a restaurant with neon green walls and flashing lights because the owner liked it. Not exactly appetizing, right?

  • Trends Exist for a Reason:

    Certain design styles and interfaces are popular because they work. They’re easy to navigate, user-friendly, and convert visitors into customers. While you can add your unique touch, ignoring established best practices can hurt your website’s effectiveness.

  • Data is Your Friend:

    Don’t rely on gut feeling alone. Use analytics tools to see what resonates with your audience. A/B testing different design elements can reveal surprising insights and help you make data-driven decisions, not preference-driven ones.

Remember, your website is a tool, not a self-portrait. Think of it as a challenge: how can you incorporate user needs, brand identity, and design best practices while still expressing your unique voice? Effective web design goes beyond personal taste. It’s about understanding your audience, their needs, and the psychology behind color, layout, and user experience. This doesn’t mean you can’t express your creativity! Just remember that it’s about balancing your vision with what works for your audience.

I hope this post helps you approach your next web design project with a more user-centric mindset. Collaborate with your Designer, be open to new ideas, and trust their expertise in user psychology and design best practices. By prioritizing user experience and objective design principles, you can create a website that not only reflects your brand but also achieves its goals; attracting more visitors, increasing engagements, and converting your visitors into loyal customers.

Bonus Tip: If you’re struggling to be objective, involve others in the design process. Get feedback from colleagues, friends, or even potential users. Their diverse perspectives can help you identify and overcome your own biases.

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