It’s not about being social, it’s about the design

Almost on a daily basis do you hear about some new social media site emerging and how companies want to take part in the latest features that Web 2.0 has to offer. It’s always about how to engage your users and visitors to your site and keep them there long enough to convert them into buying or promoting your product. Well the features are all fine and well, but eMarketer has published an article which states that it’s actually more like the design that will affect people’s behavior.

I can’t say it’s not surprising because there are a lot of microsites going on out there that are just fighting for attention. Whether it’s for the latest automobile (like the Yaris), or for a new TV (LG’s Scarlet), or perhaps for a tourism campaign (like for the Cherry Blossom Festival), all the neat features you can possibly have are pointless unless you have a design that can appeal to your audience first and then motivates them to continue with their experience. This “engagement” is key with any website, but if you’re going with a specific niche or product, then you need to make sure that it has the “Wow” factor.

In a study by Keynote Competitive Research, the Yaris microsite was probed and deemed that “the more engaged people are with product and brand microsites, the more satisfied they will be and conversion rates will be higher than for people less engaged.” So apparently the old saying hold true…when designing a site, form over function.

As you can see above, the design is the highest rated thing that eMarketer indicates will create great results, but only by a little bit. Design is a primary influencer, but surveys and video clips can also help muster conversions. For those target audience members who don’t know that much about social media, the greatness of a site can be an attractive appeal.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."