Design Matters in our Visual Culture

FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

First impressions often leave lasting impressions. Impressions also result in people's perceptions. There goes that age-old debate -- "Perception versus Reality." I say that perception is someone's impression of reality. And sometimes... no matter what is reality, you just can't change people's perception of a situation or thing.

Let's define these words...(im·pres·sion) noun: a characteristic, trait, or feature resulting from some influence; the act of impressing. (per·cep·tion) noun: a result of observation.

To make a long story short, "Yes, design does matter!"

? When you meet someone you hope to date, don't you want to make a good first impression? You want to be in nice clothes, have your hair just right and be in the right place at the right time.

? When you shop for books at the bookstore, doesn't the nicely designed books attract your attention... let's be honest, we do sometimes judge a book by it's cover then read on for content?

? When you meet people, don't you give them a firm handshake? Why do you do this? Because you want them to know you are confident.

? When you attend networking events and you hand people your business card, you don't want to say, "These are just my temporary business cards." I've heard this many times at networking events. You lose credibility and your ego and confidence gets deflated doesn't it?!

Your website can ruin or build your credibility. Which would you prefer? People can judge how professional and/or serious you are about your business when they start looking at your website (or any other marketing materials they get their hands on). Online (on the Internet) you have only a few seconds to impress your visitors before they make a conscious decision to click away or click for more information. So help them make it easy to click for more information.

You should put the same effort and attention in your marketing materials (business cards, letterheads, postcards, direct mail, voice mail greeting, etc.) as you do for growing your business. So if you decide to (re)build a website, remember that impressions online should compliment what you'd like your potential and current customers to remember you by... as if you had met face-to-face.

To illustrate the before & after on how Design Matters, download the full article.

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With over 100+ websites designed in the past 4 years, Maya Sunpongco is your Chief Imagination Officer for Design Insomnia, in San Diego, CA - an internet/web graphics firm that harnesses the "Power of Design to Communicate." She supports women-owned businesses and is a member of the National Association for Female Executives and the Professional Women's Network.

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