For a while I’ve thought websites are like the clothes you wear. I used to think the clothes to website analogy was just something my quirky head thought of, but I was wrong. One of our clients recently said the same thing. Once I regained my composure, we chatted a bit about it and I realized websites really are like the clothes you wear!
Websites Are Personal
A lot of our clients ask for our opinion during the web design process. I’m an opinionated person and while I openly share my opinion, I do caution people on how they interpret it. For many people, their website is as personal to them as the clothes they wear.
I’m a very OCD person so I like websites to be clean and white. I’m also confident and independent, so I like the color red. My clothing tends to be white, black, tan, and red. See a trend here? I’m basic when it comes to clothing and I’ll opt for comfort over style any day of the week. With websites I’ll chose function and persona alignment well before I head for flash and bling. But that’s me and that’s what works for my personality. It won’t work for everyone.
Websites are the same. I may come up with the perfect WordPress theme for Jane, but it won’t at all work for Mary. The trick is to know your style and make sure your website style is a representation of the online you.
The client I mentioned above is a lawyer in a law firm of thirty plus attorneys. Trying to obtain a look and feel that meets the aesthetic needs of thirty well educated and opinion attorneys is not easy. Each has his/her own style and each wants something different. You can’t make thirty attorney’s dress the same and I can’t design a website that makes thirty lawyers giddy. In the end we designed a site that worked for the masses and tried to stay conservative enough so that everyone could be relatively happy.
Websites Need to Be Updated Regularly
Websites, just like the clothes in your closet, need a refresh every once in a while. My parachute pants were ultra cool in the 80’s, but not so much in 2013. Remember when black and grey technology websites we all the rage? Or table based websites? Or flash based websites? Oh how things change.
Even something as simple as a 12px font size has gone to rest. Now much of our designs have a minimum of 15px font size. Why? Monitors changed, resolutions were altered, mobile devices arrived, and the average age of the internet user increased.
Life evolves and your website must evolve right along with it.
Today you might like a thin tie, but tomorrow it might need to be thicker. I might be very excited over hot pink and then realize it is a bit fancy for my forty year old self.
As you change and mature, your clothing does too. As your business matures, your website should mature as well. Products or services change, your logo gets an update, or you finally decide that blogging and social media are key to your survival.
Everything has a time and a place. And virtually nothing can stand still for very long.
What’s Inside Your Closet?
Let’s take a moment and think about the clothes inside your closet at home. Think about one piece of clothing that you’ve kept for what seems like forever, while still knowing that is better off sent to Goodwill or burned in the summer campfire. You have one right? We all do. I have a walk in closet, so I know I have at least a few.
Now let’s think about your website? What is sitting on there that should have been put to pasture months or years ago? And the bigger question is why is it still there?
In person you can see people’s reaction to a horrific outfit, but on the internet your visitors come and go and you’ll never even know they were a blimp on your Analytics report. Worse yet, you may not know that dancing gif from 1995 is what is driving them away.
Take a moment and walk through your website and your closet. Make a list of everything that needs to go and any necessities you’re missing. Then give us a call.
We might not be able to address your closet, but we can certainly help you design a better website.