“The main thing we want is for this new website to have a cool design.” No, you don’t. “Yes, we do!” Maybe you do, but that’s the wrong place to start. “What do you mean?”

Why do you have the website? “Excuse me?” Why are you investing money in having and redesigning a website? “Oh. Well, we want to get business.” I see, and a cool design is what will get business? “Won’t it?” I don’t know, I’m asking you. After all, you know your customers and prospects better than I do. So they normally do business with people because of cool websites? Since your current website isn’t so cool, why are your current customers doing business with you?”

“Because we’re the best at what we do, and we given them more value for the dollar than our competitors.” And you have a cooler website than the competition? “No. That’s why we want you to work on a new one for us.” Okay. So your new website’s primary objective is to convince your prospects to do business with you? “Exactly.” Now, I may be going out on a limb here, but isn’t it safe to assume that your prospects are also looking for a supplier that is the best in your industry and that gives them more value for the dollar than the competition? “Definitely. When people find out what makes us different, they want to do business with us.” Ah. So it’s not because of the relative coolness of your website or the lack thereof?  “Uh …”

You see, I ask these questions because I hear so many people start a new website or a brochure or a newsletter by talking about how it looks instead of what it’s supposed to do. Now, I think I how it looks is very important, but maybe not for the same reasons. “What do you mean?” I want to be sure it portrays your company as accurately and favorably as possible. I want to make sure that it’s inviting and everything that needs to be seen or read is visible. I want to be sure that it encourages your prospects to take the next step so you can land their business.

“Okay, but can’t it be cool?” Yes, sometimes “cool” is the right approach. Sometimes it isn’t. What we do is work very hard to understand what will connect with your prospects and convince them to do business with you. If being cool is important to them, we’ll create the coolest site we can envision. But if they’re more interested in stability and reliability, maybe we’ll approach it from a different angle. We don’t start by thinking about how something should look. We start by thinking about what it should do. That make sense?

“Sure does. And can we make the main colors be red and yellow?”