Don’t give people the wrong idea.

I was asked to look at a website today for a company in the beauty industry. Every industry has a look. When you start analyzing sites from the same industry you start to notice a similarity to them. A familiarity.

We all strive to make our sites unique, stand out and be memorable, but you can’t forget the natural phenomenon that websites in the same industry having a similarity to them. It’s part of the web site visitor’s experience.

Uniqueness is definitely an important design factor, but not the most. When I visit a web site for the first time. I do what everybody does. I stare at the screen. It might look like I just zoned out, but I didn’t. I’m taken in by the almighty first impression.

Most people visit a web site for a reason. They’re looking for something, a product, service or just information.

When they arrive on your site you have to make sure they know they’re in the right place and you have what they are looking for. When visitors come to your site, take full advantage of the first impression.

Offer them a site that represents your industry and retains its uniqueness. Offer a sense of familiarity so they know right away they’re in the right place.

So back to my customer they had a great look. As soon as the page displayed I knew I was looking at a site in the beauty industry. Beautiful colours and a pleasant design.

When I visit a site, I look for the impression the site is giving me, without reading any content. I want to see if within the first few seconds, if I can guess what they are selling. The golden first impression.

Visually I knew I was in the beauty industry. Then I started looking at the content… After reading the home page, I was lost. I had know idea what they sold or what they had to do with the beauty industry.

Upon reading every page of the site, I realized they were a consulting company and they specialize in the beauty industry. I had to read every page before figuring that out. I had to read every page because I was doing an analysis.

Your customers won’t take the time to go past the first page… If you’re not crystal clear about what you’re offering.

Images can help you achieve exactly that. In the case of our consulting company, a nice action image of someone performing their service. An image of somebody consulting somebody. Since they’re targeting the beauty industry . An image of somebody consulting somebody in a spa, salon or any beauty establishment they want to target. This is an ongoing project so we’ll keep you posted about the progress.

Choosing the right image will make all the difference. Action images are a must. There is no better way to display what you are selling than with an image of someone, using your products or performing your services. Then follow it up with text about the action that is being carried out. In this case something about consulting.

With a properly crafted image… At a glance and in a fraction of a second your customers will know they came to the right place. Your visitors will feel familiar and will be more likely to start reading and looking further. Confuse them and they will leave quickly!

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