WebRef Update: Featured Article: Web Site Personality Check | 2
Personality Check Continued
Which of the sites above is the best for the art world? They are all great. In fact, all generate serious traffic. Each is addressing a piece of the huge art marketplace, and present a definite personality. I also found art sites that could be mistaken for a stock report, with investment as the only topic. Other sites rent or sell art to corporations. Small gallery sites often have a local focus, or feature only one medium.
What is your site's personality? Visualize the customer who will return time after time, and make a purchase, or a click through. Is your customer likely to be a man or a woman? What age? Where do they live? What do they earn? Why are they looking at your site? Do they want information? Do they want to save time? Do they want selection? Some of these qualifiers may not apply to your business, but others will. Once you have your customer's needs identified, you can start building the place where they will be at home.
As an example of just one customer trait: Is your customer base computer savvy, or have they just entered the Internet world? This is a very important distinction. If you are selling hot, cutting- edge technology, deliver that personality. If you are promising products quickly and easily to a general market, your navigation and download times must be easy and intuitive.
Art.com has a wonderful navigation system, but while I was at home at Artnetweb.com, I would not hold their cryptic menus up as an example of clear, clean, navigation. As a web artist, on this site (and only a few subjects could make me say this) that is half the fun. My Mom, who has never pretended to understand what makes artists tick, would not stay past two clicks on this site, yet would be very happy at Art.com.
Find your personality! If you are getting good traffic and low sales, look first to the image you are presenting. Can you describe the personality of your site in a few words, or does it take a long explanation? If the latter, you have some work to do. Try an exercise like the one I did with the art sites. Pick a topic and try to determine the customer base and personality for each site you visit. Warning! There are a lot of beautiful, technically great, but REALLY dull sites out there.
About the Author:
Wendy Peck has more than 25 years business experience, including over 10 years in commercial graphic design and marketing consulting. She works from her home office in Ontario, Canada, and currently offers Web design in addition to Web research, marketing and strategy services.
Previous: Introduction to Web site personalities
Revised: May 10, 2000