Design a Visually Compelling Website

Last week, FEI marketing guru Marka went over how to create an accessible, user-friendly website. This week, the tribe discusses how to design an attractive website that drives business. Remember, fire = print.

The FEI tribe had gathered in the conference room for another O-site design meeting. Marka stood in front of the whiteboard.

“Zoot, what would happen if you went on a sales call wearing the ratty, stained, 10-year-old toga you usually reserve for weekends watching O-golf on TV?” she asked

“At the very least, I wouldn’t get the business,” Zoot said. “Most likely, I wouldn’t even make it past the lobby.”

“Right,” Marka agreed. “But why should your outfit matter? Aren’t you the same salesperson regardless of what you wear?”

“Of course,” Zoot said, “but the fact is, we all judge people in part based on their appearance.”

“This is true of O-sites, too,” Marka pointed out. “Visually appealing O-sites create positive brand impressions for our customers, which leads to more sales. Whiteboard time.”

Marka scribbled her first tip on the whiteboard:

O-site design tip #1 – Strike the right balance between text and graphics.

“Graphics and videos grab user attention,” Marka began. “Text gives users the information they need. Effective O-pages will contain both categories of elements.

“There’s no golden rule for how much text we should include on an O-page. We should use as many words as it takes to describe why our product or service is important to the reader. The images should be large and prominent, but not distractingly so. Text-heavy pages intimidate readers, so even using an O-Clipart image is arguably better than nothing.”

“Moving on!” Marka said as she began writing again.

O-site design tip #2 – Use text as a design element.

“Fonts. Formatting. Colors. Text design elements such as these can determine whether someone reads our O-site or loses patience and closes the browser,” Marka declared. “Here are some tips for using text to create more readable, eye-catching O-pages.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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