Design as a competitive advantage

Attraction and engagement are core components of a site’s success.

Design plays a key role in engagement.

Let us get into details.

Good design helps in engaging users.

For example, a user searches for a keyword and finds link to a page on your website.

Now, given that your content is good – whether a user comes back to your website or not will depend a lot on the design of your website.

A user is more likely to comeback to a site with good design – all other things being equal.

It helps make the sale.

If your site sell something – software, service or product – then repeat visitors are key to your success. When users comeback to your site it means that they trust your info and want more.

It is likely that some of these repeat visitors will convert into a lead and then become buy from you.

Good design also helps in getting you better search engine rankings.

Time on site is one parameter that search engines use to rank websites. Users stay longer on site with a clean design and simple navigation. So if you are able to hook users with your design then you have an advantage over those with a generic design.

Design being a competitive advantage – is not a new phenomenon.

Companies like Method created a lead for themselves in the market working against mighty competition. They used quality products and unique design (for dispensers) as their USP.

In digital space – this is becoming even more important.

Mint created a powerful brand- with some smart marketing strategies and distinct design, resulting in eventual $170 million sale to Intuit. Jason Putorti‘s design was a major driver behind site’s growth.

Facebook’s bottomless paging (infinite scrolling) feature adds to site’s high degree of engagement. This feature is one reason why users seems to be living inside the site.

Twitter and more recently Pinterest also use this feature successfully.

Good design helps develop trust and gets shared more.

If the design is good then chances are that users will share it more with other users on the web – resulting in automatic promotion for you.

If you are a start-up founder working on a product or thinking on building one – do not do design as an afterthought. Involve a good designer or bring a designer as a co-founder on board. It will increase your success rate.

Any more thoughts?