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    Impressive Design vs. basic Webs design


    Does anyone think or have realized if having a impressive good looking web design produces less sales than a cheap looking basic website?

    One of our designers in my opinion is amazing (we have designed for fortune 500 companies and P&G, etc. ) but when we update a horrible looking site, it seems like the bounce rate gets either worse or about the same.

    Then I updated my simple html template site to something that is easier to navigate and a lot cleaner/ better looking. What happened- about 10% percent higher bounce rate!

    (Also about a 50% reduction in sales)

    Has anyone had similar experiences?
    Last edited by ericwoo; Jul 20th, 2012 at 08:56 PM.
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    I have actually always felt the opposite. Almost every time I re-designed someone's website, I was told that it lead to more sign ups or even sales.

    The key here is to deliver website's message in the most efficient, accessible, and beautiful way possible. As long as your designer keeps these things in mind during the design process, the results should be different - in a good way.
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    That's an excellent question. I sometimes realize that a poor web design produces more conversions than a fancy one. The design should always be user friendly, clear and efficient, but the problem is that sometimes impressive designs can get you really confused...
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    Yea i always do create very basic web designs, but when i say basic what i mean is i dont goo over and use all these "flash" objects, say for example the currnt website i am working on.. its just constructed of simple images and text, no fancy nav system or links... now take in to account one of my old websites... JQuery slide shows and nav systems, tabs etc it did look extremly wonderful never the less i found it also took a bit longer to load and used more space up on the page.

    now if i compare them both.. my current one gets much more traffic than my old one because all these fancy websites load longer so people tend to get a bit bored waiting.. so to be honest if you wrap it up in a shell you can creat a very basic but attractive website just using simple code and it can be better than all these flash and pushy websites
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    Impressive design is nothing but more attractive and well designed which consist of various elements like image, font, color and graphics. On the other hand Basic web design is simple, easy to navigate and fast in loading. Impressive design and basic design are both tricks to attract user to the website. I think both are good for website design because it is depends on your requirement. If you think to create e-commerce website then basic web design is best and if you think to create designing or architecture website then impressive design is best.
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    This is a great question!!!

    Someone I know that shall remain nameless (Jim Boykin) really likes those old-looking non-flashy sites. I do too but I do also tend to prefer a bit more flash and sizzle in my designs for personal reasons of aesthetics.

    BUT... if you look at the numbers and some real stats (conversion rate, bounce rate, time-on-site, etc.), those older looking sites perform very well, and in many cases a lot better than some newer sites.

    Look at Amazon, ebay, etc. For the most part they are very bland and basic and I have to assume that's for a good reason.

    My position is that if you're selling normal non-luxurious goods, such as electronics, hardware, etc. then a more basic design will help conversion rates. If you are selling more luxurious goods or professional services (such as marketing consulting services), then a more flashy / modern design would do better.

    Comments on this post

    • Test-ok agrees : If that ain't the truth, I too like simple is better.
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    Darrin, that sounds right on.

    I've even realized that over the past year, Amazon changed their design to something even simpler. I think it actually looked better before. And every marketer knows that Amazon tests the hell out of their site.

    I might try changing my sites outside background color from the vibrant attractive blue to something like bland white or light gray like it was before. A quick css change. I'll try to report back the results in a month and see how it works out. If I forget to, feel free to message me.
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    What is the difference in upload to visualisation speed (if you pass the URL I have an app to measure this.) Many plugins for WP etc use an excessive amount of code to do something simple..... slow page means lost customer.

    We are combining both the 'fancy design' and the fast load speed by directly coding the pages - no plug ins.

    Check out our pages and work if you want, they all load and activate in <1s under our tests.

    P
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    Some good points brought up and I think it comes down to personal preference and functionality. The old adage comes to mind..Keep It Simple Stupid. Personally, not a fan of the flashy sites that have all the bells and whistles. If I can find what I'm looking for easily, I'm happy. You should always keep your visitors at the forefront.

    To answer the question, I've seen some really horrible looking websites that pay little to no attention to pretty designs and have done well. I have also seen websites that placed major emphasis on looking nice and do well. I have never compared the differences though. I do think it's a different strokes, for different folks kind of scenario. Sometimes you can get away with a lack of design element.

    This question reminds me of the importance of A/B split testing and the use of heat maps. You should always compare the data from the old site to the new idea and see which one pays off. Google does offer some tools for this. There is also 3rd party software that will allow you to do heat map testing. Currently, I am using crazyegg.com. Lots of good information can be found from this data. I highly suggest using it, especially if you are one of those people who love to play around with design elements.
    Last edited by Lb1878; Oct 15th, 2012 at 01:51 PM.
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Chinese Proverb
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    People prefer sites that are eye catchy and attractive. Yes overdoing it would be harmful, I agree, however a good looking site would give better results.
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    WOW! great selection and such a variety of different styles.
    Each n Every site has its own specialty which comes only by designing .
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    Originally Posted by fariadali
    People prefer sites that are eye catchy and attractive. Yes overdoing it would be harmful, I agree, however a good looking site would give better results.
    Who says? it depends on what your using the site for. They might be looking for the best price or service..not something snazzy.

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