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Delete your Logos, slider and social media links for a better user experience

distractionEvery page on your site needs a reason to exist. Usually to inform, entertain or market a product or service. Anyone landing on that page needs to know who you are, what is on offer and how to get it. Anything else on the page is a distraction. Your logo is unimportant, slider images just get in the way and social media links take people away from the page. People don’t care about you; all they care about is meeting their needs.

So if you have this great article about some celebrity, a news story about your local hospital, are selling socks or promoting a window cleaning service then that should be the focus of the page. Everything else is just bling. If you remove the bling then there is a better chance that people will read about or buy what you are offering. Ok so I know this goes against the grain of web design but there are good marketing reasons for stripping out the distractions.

You land on a website from a variety of sources but no matter where you began your journey you are now on that website because you expect something. It might be a product, story or something to make you laugh. It doesn’t matter what it is, the website itself is just the container for that content.

On our example journey we are going to be selling red bananas. Suppose someone has seen the advert or poster or read a facebook post or there was someone about them on TV. They end up on a red banana website and are ready to spend some cash.

Buying the Banana

red-bananasThe buyer of a red banana wants to buy a red banana. The company logo is irrelevant as it’s not part of the customer journey. They are looking for indicators that the website can sell them red bananas, a logo rarely does that. Now I’m not suggesting you should remove all logos, what I am suggesting is the logo shouldn’t be the focus of the page. Small, simple and in the top left corner is fine. Big, intrusive and in your face isn’t the way to engage with your visitors. A descriptive tagline can bring far more benefits. Take a look here, here or here. There will be many times you land on a webpage don’t even register the logo. You might see it but not absorb the details.

The pointless slider

Rotating banners, accordions, carousels and any of the plethora of imagery gimmicks may look pretty but 99% of the time are completely ineffective. The visitor is on your site because they are looking for red bananas.  What they don’t want is a set of images that slide across extolling me to ‘unleash my banana potential’, ‘ideal for chimpanzees’ or ‘click here to find out more’. A number of tests have shown that static images and bulleted lists grab the attention of the visitor. A slideshow that takes 30 seconds to get from one end to the other isn’t even going to get seen. Most people scroll straight past so won’t even know what’s on the second slide. Try This.

Get rid of your sliders and replace them with something useful to the visitor. 5 bullet points listing the benefits of the banana next to an image of them ripening on the tree is all you need.

Focus on the Conversion

justgoDo you want people to buy red bananas or do you want them to ‘like’ your page? Even worse do you want you visitor to disappear off the site and head off to your twitter feed. Social sites do have their place but you really don’t need to make them the focus of your website. If you want to get ‘likes’ then put the button below whatever it is you are promoting. But even then there is evidence that social media isn’t delivering a good ROI. People cheer the fact that have 500 followers of 1000 likes but this doesn’t translate into sales. So question if you even need those buttons on your site.

What else can you do

One thing would be to reduce the number of colours, stop using stock images and make sure the bit you want them to interact with stands out. Lots of colours means more for the brain to process, which means your important messages may get missed. Reducing your palette means you can use colour to highlight calls to action. Stock images just look naff, the generic girl with headphones on next to your ‘call us now’ button is so bad it isn’t really worth commenting on.  But where else you you use images? Do you really need them? Have you tested the page without the image?

Keep it simple

The less baggage there is on a site the more focused it becomes. If you well written engaging content you will keep your visitors for longer. And a visitor that stays longer is more likely to convert. Take this site as an example. The fact you have got this far means the content was interesting enough to keep your attention. There is no logo – which didn’t seem to worry you. There are very few images and there are no social media distractions. All you have is the content.

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