Website Design Matters

Website design matters a lot more than you think.  Yu-Hui Chen and Stuart Barnes research for Industrial Management and Data Systems indicates that the biggest obstacles to people shopping on your site are perceived concerns about poor security and vendor unreliability.  They found that those same people are far more comfortable buying from websites that are easy to navigate and provide “full and detailed information about goods.”  In other words, and highly functional website doesn’t just help people find your product, but it also helps them feel more comfortable about buying.

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  1. It's going to be interesting to see what happens when the full-version of IPTV hits the market. To switch over from a TNT program, to http://www.___? to shop for something… those websites will need a serious overhaul in terms of the look and feel of it. The look of TV is almost 3-dimensional (because of HD) ~ the current look of webpages, by comparison, is totally flat. Windfall opportunity for graphic designers, indeed!! Pages will need to have a depth-of-field aspect. And more moving images (similar to a network logo).

  2. Jeff,

    I hear what you're saying, but depth of content and depth-of-field may or may not be related.

    First and foremost, does the church website represent the church brand? In other words, to use Phil's definition, does the website match the perception people have of your church?

    If a church has a totally animated, graphically intensive website but flat, unengaging church services and ministry offerings, those who attend will feel the bait-and-switch.

    When the site focuses on creating a feel as much as a look that captures what the church represents and how they accomplish that, then the website is poised (but not guaranteed) success. Flash animation, scripts, massive div layers of CSS – all of that's great eye-candy, but if people can't find out where you are, what to expect and how to reach you, the website missed the mark.

    Design does matter, but it matters insomuch as who you are is communicated and what you offer is easy to find.

    My 2 cents,



  3. Phil, have you looked at "para-church" web sites lately?

    For example, there is Elijah List

    Sanity check me on this, please, but for me there is something catchpenny and garish about this web site. The in-your-face commercialism bothers me.

  4. One of the most useful and entertaining websites you'll ever read is this one:

    Nearly every day, they post a user-submitted Badly Designed Website with the user's critique and the site editors' review as well. Very revealing of what website design traps to avoid. They also publish a funny, helpful list of Biggest Mistakes in Web Design:


  5. I agree that site design matters but that does not necessarily mean it has to be "pretty"… I have two sites, one pretty… Dayton Ohio Real Estate and one not so much…  Dayton Homes for Sale .  We do not sell a product on line but do gather customer info and the "ugly" one actually does better in that respect???  Just make sure the site does what it is susposed to do…

    Mark Ryan 

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