Designing to Leave an Impression: Part Two (Websites)

I’m bacccccccccck with PART TWO of my special Fall time (well early Winter if you’re living in the ‘Peg like me, LOL!) miniseries; “Designing to Leave an Impression”.

All of us tend to make snap judgments. It literally only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person. And websites are no different. And that’s why today’s blog post is extra special and filled to the brim with first impression factors such as structure, colours, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, fonts and so much more.

But before we dive into today’s special topic filled with website goodness, let me share with you a few quick things your website SHOULD NOT do (or have) …

  • Dead links that lead nowhere or to an error page. Check your links frequently.

  • Poor content may make you lose customers. There is never a need to drone on (but story is important – in little bits!) so make sure you’re writing for the people reading, not for you or your company.

  • Lots of Bells n’ whistles including widgets, flash animation, fancy cursors or music (especially NOT music). These things only slow your loading time and annoy most of your visitors. Clean and to the point works best.

  • Long lists of services (or products) as one long continuous scroll tends to make your visitors leave instead of being intrigued to learn more. Break things up and use smart navigation to help them find what they need.

  • No calls to action while give your visitors no reason to stay or learn more about how your business can benefit them and theirs. Explain your brilliant services (or products) in simple ways so they find our more or get in touch.

  • Hard to read text or crappy imagery – your website is not a newspaper. For best practices a strong contrast and high-quality imagery (or infographics) are extremely important.


Okay, so now that you have a better idea of what not to do, let’s dive into the good stuff …
(In list format so I don’t keep you here to long as I know you have lots on your to-do list today!)

  • A private yet memorable domain name. (Preferably your business name.)
  • Some good ol’ website security (SSL) to keep everyone safe. Including you.
    (Especially if you have a shopping cart, accept payments or a membership portal.)
  • Some fun (yet consistent) social sharing buttons and connecting icons.
  • A set of natural SEO keywords in place so you are easily searchable.
  • Some fresh content that always speaks to your visitors – not your ego.
  • Some outbound links to show you’re a valuable resource (these can also be included within blog and podcast content)
    • … as well as some inbound ones to carry even more search engine juice.
  • A brief highlight of your USP (unique selling point) which let’s them know WHY to stick around!
  • A good handful of testimonials so other people can tell your visitors just how good you are.

Both of these lists I am sharing with you today are the round-up of a larger overall list. However, these are the most important things to consider and set in place first if you’re just starting out or perhaps rebranding. Inline with these items comes strategy, the journey of the customer, content and design, brand consistency (which I know I harp about a lot!) and certain systems, plug-ins and widgets for functionality.

For a bit of a visual of all these steps (and more), here’s a really amazing, yet simple infographic (for a more detailed breakdown of the website creation process) courtesy of

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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