How does website design affect product perception? This may sounds like a silly question to some. It may sound like an almost rhetorical one to others. Especially, to people who think the answer is self evident. Unfortunately, there are many who never considered it in the first place.
That’s of little major significance if those people have no investment in Internet marketing. It may affect them is a small way. For example they may look briefly at some website, not like the appearance of it; so go to a different site. This kind of thing happens all the time.
It happens because of ignorance or because of arrogance or a combination of both. Many mainly small businesses constantly lose customers to competitors for relatively simple reasons. They think they have the ability to effectively design their own websites. The same sort of thinking informs their decision to design their own press advertising and even occasionally produce their own TV commercials. The fact that on rare occasions this approach may work does not undermine the general argument.
In short, if a website looks like it was designed by an amateur, people will perceive, sometimes subconsciously, the entire operation as somewhat amateurish. In short, sadly, they won’t want to buy from an amateur. They just look somewhere else.
Bigger organisations rarely fall into this trap. They usually employ highly trained executives who are well aware of the specialist nature of Graphic design in its broad sense. Crucially for their business, they know that bad design or amateur looking design reflect exactly that image on the businesses products and services. The necessity to employ the right specialists for the related jobs is imbued in them from college.
Some small business people might argue that with a little training and some common sense, they can learn to perform many of the business tasks for which others pay specialists good money. There’s a certain truth it that argument. But it’s a truth with important limitations. And it’s a truth that if it applies at all, it applies only to areas where “creativity” is not crucial.
If they put their mind to it any reasonably intelligent business person can probably learn enough about areas like “Accounts” to be able to do their own books and issue invoices. Most, if the wished, could take care of standard administration tasks like filing, report writing and correspondence. But even in such tasks, wouldn’t they be better employed doing their own jobs fully? In other words aren’t they most likely neglecting important jobs like, for example, selling?
The jobs that they should not consider doing are those that require a specialised training and qualification. This seems obvious, but, even so, is not practiced by many small business people. They argue that they are trying to save money. But it’s a false economy.
Most crucial of all though are areas related to “creativity”. This includes all areas of Graphic Design. How your advertising, brochures, corporate stationery, mail shots appear, reflect hugely on your business. Since a website is, in a very real sense, all of those items rolled into one, its design is more important than all of them together. So, to the question; how does website design affect product perception, the answer is enormously!