The primary purpose of this website, chrisennis.me, was to advertise my freelance graphic and web design services. Since coming to college, I haven’t had the time to keep the business going but I will hopefully be back it this summer. Interestingly I found a strong correlation between good website design and proper information visualization. The same concepts and principles that make a PowerPoint presentation effective apply directly to making a website effective. The goal of a good website design is to convey information in a pleasing navigable manner. Just as a presentation you might be making to a client for a sales pitch – audience awareness is crucial. For example if the goal is to convey the skill of a photographer, my website design for them would be rich with visuals and have an easily navigable portfolio. One of my designs – http://infinstrategiesllc.com/ – is for a financial planning firm whose primary goal is to seek clients. The audience in this case are those that are unsure about their financial situation and need guidance. The goal is to assure the client by the end of his visit to the website that this firm will provide him the most successful future. The website homepage opens with a slider that has a happy family, a graduation, and a wealthy looking retired couple. These are positive images that convey future occurrences that are directly influenced by a financial planner. The slider advertises “clarity” and “confidence” in “your financial life”. This textual representation relates directly to the visuals.
Below the intro slider is the start of raw information. Light greyscale certifications that are not too bold but still provide the necessary information. People that are looking for the certifications will see them but if they are not actively looking – they are not a distraction. The information is not overpowering but answers the questions that a person browsing the site would most likely want to know. There are icons as visual aids drawing them to particular types of questions. The goal is target an audience and engage them. Another key to website design that can be adapted from a presentation is consistency. Not only is the color scheme and menu locations the same throughout the website but links to different information is sequential. Each page gets progressively more specific as a user scrolls down. For instance, on the about page, users are confronted with a simple introduction to the financial adviser and as they scroll down they see links to various FAQs. These FAQs answer questions that may have been elicited by what they just read. At the end of each page there is a “Let’s Talk” button that secures the conversion. This button is the ultimate objective.
The website accounts for it’s audience and their background, it accounts for human interaction habits, it uses positive visuals yet imposes light questioning to elicit response; ultimately the website successfully considers the same key questions that go into presentation creation:
- Who is the audience?
- What do you want to tell your audience?
- What do you want your audience to do with the information you are providing them?
- What information do you want them to walk away with?
- Are you telling them enough or too little? Too Much?