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The Website ‘Wow’ Factor – Does It Really Exist?

Working in the field of website design and development, clients often speak about the ‘wow’ factor. That being, the secret to creating and providing the kind of website experience that never fails to impress in a big way. It’s no secret that standing out from the crowd these days is difficult – hence the desire to ‘wow’ every visitor that comes along.

The only problem being that the ‘wow’ factor as most interpret it simply doesn’t exist.

A Combination of Factors

Carry out a little experiment for yourself and you’ll see what we mean. Head over to any website you believe to be particularly impressive and try to pinpoint the single thing that gives it such a ‘wow’ factor. One element which single-handedly makes this site stand out in a positive way.

Chances are, you won’t be able to do it. Which is because the ‘wow’ factor as far as website design is concerned is the result of a multitude of factors coming together in perfect harmony.

Think of it this way – the most spectacular imagery can have an incredibly positive impact. Nevertheless, if paired with substandard text and a poor navigation system, the website is viewed as low-end. The same also goes for sites that look great and feature quality content, but are so clumsy, sluggish and slow that they’re unbearable to spend any kind of time with.

Which in turn means that this elusive ‘wow’ factor is immediately more complex than it appears on the surface. Complicated further by the fact that what represents the ‘wow’ factor for one audience might not even slightly impress another. Still, there are certain basic staples you need to focus on, in order to bring the ‘wow’ factor to your chosen target audience.

Ensure the following are given sufficient priority and you’ll be heading in the right direction:

  1. Content.  Until further notice, content remains king. This includes pretty much everything your website features, including text, imagery, video clips, animations and so on. Make no mistake about it – every last shred of content your website plays host to will be scrutinised to an extreme degree.
  2. Personality. You brand needs to have a strong identity, a consistent voice and the kind of personality that resonates with your target audience. If you come across as robotic, unauthentic or in any way uninspiring, you’ll have trouble delivering anything close to a ‘wow’ factor.
  3. Experience vs Aesthetics.  The phrase “beauty’s only skin-deep’ applies just as much to websites as it does to anything else. Regardless of how beautiful your website may be, all the aesthetic prowess in the world cannot make up for a poor user-experience. If anything, it’s better to turn things down in terms of aesthetics, if doing so allows you to then provide a better overall experience.
  4. User-Focus.  Everything about your website should be designed from start to finish from the perspective of the customer. Put yourself in their shoes, see your business through their eyes and work out what would ‘wow’ you if you were in their position.
  5. Simplicity.  Last but not least, the harder you try to achieve that elusive ‘wow’ factor, the more likely it is to continue eluding you. It’s the classic case of desperation leading you astray. The more complicated, intense and generally overworked your website becomes, the less appealing will be in the eyes of most audiences. Delivering the ‘wow’ factor is all about isolating what it is you do best and giving it all the focus and commitment you possibly can.