Ugly? No wonder you don’t get any action

Now I’m a big fan of ecommerce sites and will buy everything from flights to shoes, but a key part of what makes me remain on site, checkout and return, is the design and functionality of the site.

My morning regime of delicious Dorset Cereal and TeaPigs Darjeeling Earl Grey leaves me wondering if good design can sell anything and make even the most mundane, sexy.

Now, I’m not going to go into any detail about the beautifully integrated Protx shopping cart on the Tea Pigs site or the fact that they have a clear navigation. I’m instead going to touch upon the design of the packaging, the website, the casual approach to communication and ultimately how of these elements that make up these brands make me feel. Good design and cute styling compels me to browse the Tea Pigs site, read all of the content and explore their products. And while I forget that it’s only tea I have to ask myself whether I would feel the same for a site selling toilet roll?

The Yorkshire Tea website by comparison, fails to capture my imagination and their ID= domains don’t inspire confidence either, but all is not lost.. and I seek refuge mixing my own blend of muesli on this site

Now with any introduction, first impressions count. And this is true for ecommerce sites as well. After all, we, as consumers, haven’t really for the time to find out if your site ‘has a nice personality’ or ‘is a lovely person’. And It’s no mystery that beautiful people get more attention (coupled of course with the idea that there is always an ugly girl left crying at the end of every party), but it certainly raises a few interesting points.

When you visit a site that looks great do you bookmark it? Do you email your friends about it? Do you share it on Facebook, Blog about it? Post a link on your site about it? Buy from it? or remember to buy? Do you yearn to work for that company?

Good design can make us do so many things, from evangelising about a brand (I Love My Apple Mac Video) to massively increasing inbound links and sales.

But what about a poor looking site that doesn’t capture your attention or imagination? What does it make you do? Or better still.. what doesn’t it make you do?

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