You may know a "Sarah" in your life who has this nondescript interior designer website that seems normal at first glance, but then you discover not everything is what meets the eye. You're gonna to go all forensic to learn the techniques to diagnose a website nightmare (and make sure you don't also have one).
Picture your client comes upon this website and all seems normal upon first glance, much like looking at the Exorcist house from the street.
The front of the house, i.e. the home page, seems rather normal. there’s an easy to follow explanation about what this interior design business is about. This person creates one-of-a-kind nurseries for twins. You want to find out more about her so you click on the About page… or rather the page she titled “Me”.
Once you step inside the About page, little things seem off. You see the portrait or rather the interior designer’s head shot. Instead of a happy smiling face like you picture when listening to that REM song “Shiny Happy People” you see Suicidal Sarah. Her dour face makes you feel like asking her for a quick chat about your art needs will send her into a downward spiral that not even an Interventionist could help.
How many personalities does this interior designer website have? Is it possessed?
You've just encountered a bad interior designer website.
You read her About page bio while her sad depressing eyes follow you every time you glance up in wonder. What makes you wonder? She types with an exuberance of a teenager!!!! No less that 5 exclamation points end each sentence that she deems important. All the facts that you don’t really care about. Through out the text there are seven different fonts sizes. Important points each have a different color which make it seem like the ice cream store vomited all over. She even has a music auto-player playing “Endless Love” on her “Me” page. WTF? Is this a dating site? But, the page was title, “Me”, so what else could you expect?
Is that organ music playing?
Bad Interior Designer Websites Confuse
Now that you are starting to get confused, you look to her navigation as the next stop on your journey but you are halted by a communication breakdown. Instead of standard cues we all look for in the Navigation, like “Home” “About” “Portfolio” “Buzz Me” and so on. You see words like “Me” for “About” and “Pretty Stuff” for Portfolio and the said “Buzz Me” for the contact page that evokes scary ideas of sending Suicidal Sarah to the electric chair.
This is how people get confused and you see the signs of a website nightmare. The website looks like it wasn’t made for her dream interior design clients. A website is a the perfect place for you and your client to meet. A place to exchange glances, and if things look to be going in a good way, you might turn your seats towards each other. So here Sarah goes and gives off mixed vibes that confuse the client so much so that they don't know exactly how it will be to work with Sarah or how her designs will be.
Do you hire Sarah?
Bad Interior Designer Websites Lose You Clients
You’re not sure… I mean there are parts of her personality portrayed by the parts of her website that seem okay and then there are other parts that aren’t which leave you wondering if you’ll have Cybil on your hands when you talk to her. Will you be talking to the competent Sarah or the Sarah that wants to scream at you because her dog died and she’s hurting inside. Maybe you’ll get the lazy Sarah, the one who is the rebellious teenager and deadlines aren’t her thing. Maybe you’ll get the manic Sarah who does all of the work in one day but it isn’t what you wanted, but it was what she wanted.
For me (and probably you, too), I love to watch characters like Sarah in movies and TV shows - but I'm not likely to hire her because.... I enjoy working with people who I can trust - reliable - leave their personal stuff aside and focus on the task at hand. So make sure your interior designer website isn't a nightmare that your ideal clients are visiting. Maybe it's time for a refresh.
Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.