3 Ways Your Web Design Can Better Connect You to Your Audience

3 Ways Your Web Design Can Better Connect You to Your Audience

Reader Comments (43)

  1. Rafal:

    Thanks for laying out form, function, and feel in an easily understandable way. Today I will upgrade my 404 page with humor and a suggested step. I love the Cool Hand Luke reference!

  2. Rafal, thanks for all these ideas to think about.

    I think one thing I would like to do to change my website for a better user experience is the surprise element. It’s kind of challenging to come up with some kind of surprise element or even an interesting story within the internet marketing niche, but I like challenges.

    And actually, I did use in one of my mindset posts an experience that happened to me that involved me panicking and how I was rescued. I was able to correlate that with how to be prepared for problems that may come up and that there is always a solution.

    Anyway, I’m going to keep all these things in mind and see what I can come up with to make my web site more appealing and interactive. Thanks!

  3. I would say that putting effort into a quality website

    design will pay off for the long-term.

    Visitors want a nice looking but functional website

    that they can easily navigate.

    Thanks for writing.

  4. Rafal,

    Brilliant input on design and the considerations behind it. This is definitely a post I’ll send to my clients.

    I know a lot of designers & developers share the same frustration I do of having clients that request or even insist on design practices that are not sound or at least reject things that are (like larger font). Articulating the logic behind those practices is huge and this post will be helpful in doing so.

    Some of your points also explain WHY someone should hire a good designer. For example, “designing to tell a story” is spot on, but most non-designers won’t have a clue to how to execute something like that, nor should they be expected to.

    The down side for many clients to hiring a designer to create a custom design is price, especially for something that has the quality of your work. On the other hand, they can buy a Genesis Child Theme and get a very nice looking site for a steal (not-so-shameless plug).

    Keep up the good work!

    • Scott,
      It took me a while to get to the point when I understood how design really works. I was focused more on making my graphics visually pretty but never thought about how actually people feel about it or if my design tells a story.

      When I finally discovered this very important aspect and tried to connect more with audience, then everything has changed.

  5. I like the “design to tell a story” part. I wish there could be a dynamic web design available that: won’t slow down the PC / internet, allows you to create all kinds of dynamic things on the page, with different kinds of media formats (including video, audio, etc), and lets you change the page / flip through the article to the left/right with the arrow left/right, etc. Something that looks like you’re being told a story and you’re immersed in it, and you can scroll through, down, up, left, right, and even in depth….

    Oh well, until then, we can improve the design at least with these items you are suggesting. Thanks. Good tips 🙂

  6. Font SIZE too small??

    For all the dummies out there…all computers have a zoom in [MAGNIFY] zoom out [decrease] facility…Find it. Use it.

    Microsoft…hold down left Ctrl & spin the mouse wheel…

    IMAC…just tap the top of the mouse with one finger-tip…

    • Phil, A lot of people don’t know those tips and it doesn’t make them dummies.

      Another aspect of good design is making it easy on our readers and not asking them to jump through extra hoops to read our content in the first place.

    • This requires from your visitors an additional action to make. Maybe it seems like not too much to ask but most people won’t zoom in every time they visit your website.

      You want to eliminate any problems like this and make a great first impression.

      • I totally agree with you Rafal. If your site doesn’t lend itself to a very high level of engagement as is … Then people will just leave … In droves!

  7. If it doesn’t work for your visitors, it doesn’t work. I like space, readability and graphics that have meaning. Thank you, Rafal. Some of these things I knew, but some not so much, and I can see (pun intended) that I need to go over my design to be sure my visitors are getting what they need from my sites.

  8. Rafal, you are an amazingly talented designer. I have been a fan for a while now. It was great to get inside your head for a minute.

    What type of testing did you to to recommend green buttons?

    Did you run any tests on CB before making the change?


    This post suggests orange, and I have found orange to be effective in my tests.

    I would love to do a big test with some other folks to compare results.

    • We used orange on StudioPress.com and after a couple redesigns and many revisions on StudioPress, WebSynthesis and Copyblogger we realized that this color scheme blue + green works best. That’s why we decided to use this color scheme on all of our sites.

      NewRainmaker.com also uses the same blue but we’re trying a little different green color. I think it’s a little more refreshing.

      Conversion tests are never easy because there are so many factors that can affect the results. Fortunately, there are some other people in Copyblogger who know more than me when it comes to “conversion science”.

    • On SP, green tested about 12% higher. So not a huge amount, but enough to keep it. Plus we liked the look better (but if it tested lower, we wouldn’t have cared about the look 😉 )

      On CB, both orange and green have tested about the same.

      The key is contrast and the emotional urgency you can create with certain colors.

      The important thing is what you’re doing — testing on your own site with your own audience.

      • Thanks for getting back to me. A key take away…Everyone should be testing design elements. I’m doing a test now and the page without the slider has 25% ,conversion rate vs 12% with slider. These little tweaks can make a dramatic impact.

  9. Simplicity will convey the best message through your design.

    Apple knows this and have incorporated this into the whole “function” of their existence.

    That’s exactly what I did when I redesigned my website.

    I incorporated a simpler, modern look that will give any visitor the right message of where they are and what they need to do from that point on forward.

    This post definitely hit all the notes of the spectrum when it comes to design (since you’re the lead designer of Copyblogger).

    Thanks Rafal!

    – Sam

  10. Rafal, this is wonderful. Thanks you so much. I’ve been scratching my head trying to envision how I can make my website reflect the vibe I’ve expressed in my product (a book). You’ve advanced my awareness by miles and I’m grateful!

  11. I love this post! This is exactly what I tell people all of the time — design MATTERS.

    It’s practically embedded into our subconscious. Good design draws in a crowd and keeps people eyeing up all the visuals for a longer period of time if you do it right.

  12. Where do I find someone that understands what you are talking about. And importantly one I can afford. I am a newby author who can’t afford the one who is recognized as the Cadillac for writers. And before you tell me to design my own, I’m not able to make my own website, even with you or anyone else helping. I don’t change the oil in my car either. I just want to write! !

    Loved your article – it came at just the right time.


  13. Great point about having readable content. Probably one of the most overlooked features on a website. As I understand it black font on white background is the most easily read.

    I was talking to this guy at the Apple store the other day about the science of colours. Apparently each colour elicits a certain emotion/mood. From what I recall of the conversation blue represents corporate, purple denotes intelligence ….

  14. Great article! The one single thing I’m worst at is design! I don’t really even see it. But my takeaway from your article is to do something intelligent with my 404 page. That’s something I can do right now to make a difference.

  15. Rafal,

    I echo Darren DeMatas, “you are an amazingly talented designer. I have been a fan for a while now. It was great to get inside your head for a minute.”

    We want more minutes, please.

    Some of the concepts are familiar thanks to Copyblogger archives, Authority trainings, and Pamela I Wilson for the most part.

    But not all. I learned quite a bit, in fact. And I’m intrigued to hear more.

    Your designs are very Apple-esque in their minimal elegance and intuitive usability. And yet, each site in the Copyblogger Media Suite evokes its own emotion and betrays an individuality…even as the family resemblance is undeniable.

  16. Hey, I really love the examples you shared in this article – nice and clean and fresh looking. What are your thoughts on sliders?

    Darren above mentioned that it seemed to decrease the conversion rate, i have some on my site but im considering removing them, would love some advice..


    • Hey Paul,

      A few people have messaged me about that comment. I am working on a post right now that will explain the “right” (SEO safe) way to set up an experiment on your wordpress site (Genesis specific) so you can test it your self.

      Everyone has an opinion on sliders, the best to find out is to test it yourself!

    • I agree with Darren. Make some tests on your own website and find out. There are so many details that can affect the conversion of your slider: headline, copy, image, button size, etc.

      I think the best approach is to keep it simple: one clear message and one simple action to take. I like big intros where your eyes are focused on just one thing and all distractions are eliminated.

  17. Good tips for bloggers like me 😉
    Especially ” Design for emotions ” , It’s a great solution to attract interested readers

    Thanks for sharing

  18. I definitely agree. Web design is really becoming important these days. Not only do we have to try to keep up with all of the new trends, but we also have to give our followers what they want. I totally agree with you when you said that the design tells a story. I try my best to follow these rules. Thank you for sharing this, I really learned something from it,

  19. Hey Rafal,
    Great post. The way a site looks and works is key to every part of the user experience whether you’re trying to get that person to read a blog post, watch a video, or a buy a product. If you make your decisions with the user in mind and truly try to connect with your audience, it’s a win-win. Anyway, I thought your suggestions and examples were valuable and shared your post in my roundup of February’s best web design/development, CMS, and security content. http://www.wiredtree.com/blog/februarys-best-web-designdevelopment-cms-security/ Thanks again for the helpful post.


  20. attractive website design and functions play a massive role. If you can get a story in as well, you’ve got somewhat decent site.

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