The dictionary defines motivation as:
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.
When someone enters your website, it takes less than 1/20th of a second to decide whether or not they find your website visually appealing or not. This is quite a frightening statistic considering how long some websites take to load (to be fair, the users in this study group were flashed static images of the websites so load times were not a factor).
So how does design tie into motivation? It’s about the way your site looks and how usable it is.
Personally I feel you can have a gorgeous site that people can navigate around easily but there are some out there who use nothing but flash navigation (some people have that blocked you know!), sub-menu after sub-menu, no discernable sections or page titles, bad colour choices (hey, I know I’m not one to talk…. but purple on black? Please?!) – the list goes on.
If you want to motivate your readers, viewers, audience – however you’d like to describe them – into engaging and interacting with your site you need a design that works well with the content on the page, that they can understand and can move about easily in.
In my previous post “Motivate Yourself – Use the ‘Fear Factor’” I said:
I’ve been wandering around the internet for the past couple of hours
looking at various motivational websites – quite a few of which were
quite uninspiring (surely if you want to motivate people the design of
your site itself should be motivating – or is that just me?!)
In the comments, Robert quite rightly asked “What makes for Motivating Design?”
Take the Google Search for “Motivation Newsletter” as an example. Within the top 10 results (excluding my own entry of course ) there are only two websites that would motivate me personally to sign up to their newsletter. Why? Because the sites are professional looking, have easily accessible content so I can browse around and find out if what they write about is something that I’d be interested in receiving and most importantly, the way the pages are worded makes me want to sign up.
I won’t mention any particular sites here for fear of upsetting someone or being sued for something but some of the others look like they’ve been quickly knocked together and put up in 5 minutes. Why would I want to sign up to something that if the quality’s as “good” as the site all that means is I’ll get is a load of adverts and one “motivational” proverb.
Just by looking through those first 10 links (well, technically 9!) in Google, I fell straight into the 1/20th second trap immediately dismissing sites that weren’t “up to standard”.
If you delve deeper into the search as I did the other night, there are sites advertising newsletters that you can’t navigate to, pages that just seems to stop halfway through a sentance, signup pages that are broken; the list goes on and on.
Website content is just as important as design in terms of drawing people in, getting them to read and motivating them to action – whether that be signing up to a newsletter, adding your RSS feed to their reader or clicking on an Advert – but without that inital motivational push from the way the site looks they’ll wander off in 1/20th of a second and never pop back again….
As always, comments welcome 🙂
Cheeky Disclaimer: I don’t hold this site up to be any sort of design miracle so I’m probably not one to comment really but I try my best lol