This probably isn’t groundbreaking news. You may already know this, but if not – here we go.
Burn Up Your Business Cards?
I am not saying burn up your business cards; I am just saying – your website may have replaced them already. Even if you knew this, are you thinking about your site strategically with this knowledge?
A business card brought about design limitations— a small space that demanded clarity and a wow factor.
That design limitation then forced you to prioritize what you wanted your viewer to see, the most critical contact and brand information – while also trying to capture your viewer’s attention with the business card design.
Nowadays, even if I were to hand my card to someone, they would visit our website right away and decide whether to hire us. So really, I could give someone a card with just the web address or a QR code, and that would be just as effective. 🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♂️
Someone can view your website on mobile, which, in some cases, is pretty much an interactive business card. Primarily, you are serving up a scrolling digital business card to anyone in the world, accessible 24/7. That’s quite neat. And, you are telling different stories at different screen sizes. Your business card can tell a rich, immersive visual story on desktop, paired down on the tablet, and a quick content version on mobile.
Questions to ponder
Here is something to ask yourself:
Am I carrying over the principles I would use on a business card to educate, wow, and get someone to contact me about a project on my website? Why not?
Have I thought about it that way at all?
We all should be. Like, now.
We are going to be using an acronym going forward:
EWC – Educate, Wow, Contact
Educate: Who you/brand is, what you do.
Wow: Brand elements used in a way to create an impactful and engaging design.
Contact: Someone now knows who you are, what you do, and is drawn to your brand – get them talking with you now!
A good business card design is the balancing of information that you put on the card without making it look like soup. You EWC it. The same approach applies to this new thinking about your website. One of the significant differences is that a website can give you the illusion that you have so much more space than a business card and stuff it to the brim. But, don’t fall for that trap. Use your new secret weapon that most folks avoid using: WHITESPACE. My goodness will it help you convert. I swear. Whitespace EWC, yea, you know me. 🍑
By taking EWC principles from business card design to your website design, you will find that your site will be more precise in its communication. I want to give you a couple of examples of how we can put this way thinking into good practice.
Example: Navigation (E & C)
Do you need 14 items in the main navigation? No, you don’t. What you need is to identify your goals with the site and only show what will accomplish those goals: About, Work, Contact. Three. Once you have that accomplished, you can now think about creative ways to have your ‘other’ content and pages accessible, but listed secondarily. If you want to have a page about your cat because it is somehow connected to your logo and you think somehow, if only someone read about this, you can convert them into a customer, fine. But put that page in a ‘More’ that leads to a dropdown. So your new navigation would be: About, Work, Contact, More. Four from our fictional previous fourteen count. That ‘More’ can hold all types of secondary pages. While business cards don’t have navigation, this thinking has helped you identify essential info, serve it up quickly and easily. Then leverage technology to serve up that secondary information that is dear to YOUR heart.
Secret: If someone views your ‘More’ menu, a couple of things are happening here. They may not care about your ‘About,’ ‘Work,’ or ‘Contact’ at this phase. They may want to see what is behind the scenes. By strategically thinking here, you are also segmenting your content into essential for biz, and essential for the ‘other.’ When someone is viewing your ‘other’ in this context, they might be more engaged with your brand and looking for a deeper understanding of who your business is. The flip side is this is an indicator that your content is weak and unclear, and the user is like, “There has to be ‘More’…”. Either way, it’s something for you to look into.
Brand Elements (W)
Let’s tackle the W. Admittedly; you can do a lot on your website to accomplish wow. But let’s follow the path of limitations a bit more. On a business card design, you are forced to come up with an impacting and straightforward way to use your visual identity to create intrigue, engagement, and ultimately wow. How can you use the simple elements of your brand to potent effectivity?
Color, typography, logo, textures, images. Less is more.
Could you say less, and have your brand color do the heavy lifting of creating intrigue?
By saying less, it will make you refine what you want to communicate, along with tightening up your copy. By thinking ‘less,’ you may uncover exciting ideas to use your visual brand in a more minimal and impactful way.
Could you refine down your content to be super focused, and maybe only have three sections on your homepage instead of twelve? Part of the wow factor is having crisp and concise copy (infused with your brand personality).
Imagine your customer going:
“Yea, I went to xyz.com, and I learned what they do pretty quickly. I got to talk to them right away, and they were nice.”
Let’s Get More W’s on the web
It’s ALL part of the experience. Combine the crisp, clear, and paired down content with splashes of your visual identity in effective intentional ways; Boom! You have accomplished W for the W (•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑
It’s time for all of us to start getting some w’s on the web. You can totally do it. We are all capable of really incredible things. It just may take a tweak in our thinking, and some hard work.
Do you believe in the web? You have to. The web is here to stay, and it will phase out your business card. It probably already did 🤷🏽♂️