A Little Personality
Recently I was talking on the phone with a potential new client. We were bouncing ideas around about her new website, talking wants and no ways. She mentioned that she already had hosting set up and already installed a content management system (CMS), but that the standard template that came with the install was… and she started struggling to describe it.
“Its just another, you know, site. It’s just kinda plain. It doesn’t really…”
I interjected the thought, “it doesn’t have any personality.”
“Exactly!” she replied.
I think personality is a key trait in design, and particularly in Web design. We collect information about our world based on what we see. Your choice of color – corporate blue or wild cherry? Illustrations or photos? Helvetica or Comic Sans? All of these choices help determine the personality of your site and speak (or not) to readers, customers, followers. They are visual cues that help people determine if this is a place they should spend their valuable time hanging out and reading what you have to say or looking over what you have to offer.
And personality isn’t limited to design. Your content should reflect some as well. Throw in a y’all, y’all, if that’s your flavor. Of course you want to be professional and speak to a wide crowd. But, heck, if it looks like a robot is writing your content, people aren’t going to connect with what you are trying to say. That being said, don’t let that deter you from using complete sentences, correct punctuation, and always check your spelling. (I’ll save that rant for another post.)
We live in a social world. People are bombarded constantly with Tweets, posts, emails, ads, and more. The social world is a noisy one. So to be successful, you have to find a way to stand out and to connect with potential followers and customers. Adding some personality to your site will help people relate to you and your content. And if people relate, they might become loyal, repeat visitors. Which is a main objective of any site.
As a designer, it is my job to help my clients figure out how to make their site’s personality blossom. Through consultations and discussions, by getting to know you, your project and what you are trying to achieve, by setting goals and objectives (number of visitors, amount of sales, etc.) I help you develop the personality of your project and make it come to life online.
Now it’s your turn. Tell us what you do to add personality to your projects?