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The Most Important Element Of Any Website

design | web design by Shannon Noack on June 3, 2011 | 2 Comments

There are lots of important things that go into creating a great site, including the typography, color choices, layout, usability, content, etc. But what is the most important element, that can make or break your site?

You have so little time to impress users when they land on your site, if they don’t understand what you’re all about quickly and easily, you’ve lost them. So delivering your message quickly and effectively is the most important element of any website, because without it, the greatest design in the world won’t help.

Don’t Make Them Click

Because they won’t. If you force people to dig through your site, to click through to the About Us page to see who you are, then you’re losing a good amount of the users that land on your site. When new users land on your homepage, you only have about 10 seconds to make them understand what you’re selling and what they can do on your site. If they don’t get this within 10 seconds or so, chances are they’ll leave.

There are different methods for accomplishing this powerful technique, and the best method is going to largely depend on your audience, the design of your site, and what fits best for your company. But the important thing is that you get the message out there quickly.

Descriptive Text

Large headlines and bold text are a great way to get your ideas across quickly because it catches your eye and makes you read it when you first land there. This site does a great job of focusing your attention on the large headline and then gives you more information below. They’ve also given you a few columns of important items, directing you throughout their site and telling you where to go. It’s simple, yet very effective.

Powerful Imagery

website design

Using descriptive images to tell the story is another great way to capture your audience’s attention. People relate to pictures and can get a lot of information from an image, so it’s a powerful way to get your message across. Pictures will generally evoke a more emotional response than text, so they work well to draw users in. You can also combine text with images to let your users know what you’re all about, if an image isn’t descriptive enough to say it all. The site above has used some great images that are descriptive and powerful, and combined them with a little bit of text to complete the effect and capture their audience.

Capturing your website users’ attention quickly is important, especially if you want them to stay on your site and see what else you have to offer. Deliver the message in a powerful manner, through text, images, or both, and you’re nearly guaranteed to keep more users on your site longer.

What sites have you seen lately that do this particularly well? Tell us in the comments below!


  1. Matthew
    July 7, 2011 @ 6:50 pm stands out really well!

  2. Shannon
    July 8, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    @Matthew – They do a nice job with this, thanks for sharing that! Love seeing more examples of this concept in action. Thanks!

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