August 20, 2015 | Paul Gibson

Great Web Design Is Like Planning a Theme Park: Part 3

web design

In the first and second posts in this series, I talked about how both theme parks and websites need to appeal to multiple types of visitors and guide them to the desired content (or destination). The final step in the process takes place when they reach the main attraction—it's time for the “conversion”!

Converting Your Audience

At the heart of any great theme park are the attractions themselves, ranging from rides and shows to interactive exhibits. There are a ton of varieties to choose from, but at the end of the day the goal is the same: to entertain and impress the audience. Why is this so important? Because the theme park designer wants to elicit a very specific set of responses from the visitor:

  • To leave with a sense of awe
  • To tell all their friends what a wonderful time they had
  • To be willing to spend money with the park again in the future

The mission of web design is similar. We want our visitors to have specific responses as well:

  • To be convinced of the validity and legitimacy of our offers
  • To tell like-minded friends about our offers
  • To be receptive to “closing the deal”

In both cases, the goal is to “convert” the visitor. Where the park uses clever attractions, the website designer uses carefully-constructed content and offers. The final conversion for the website designer takes place when the visitor becomes a customer.

So how can the website designer maximize the chance at a conversion? Let's take another page from the park designer’s playbook. By structuring our content and offers in a targeted way that the visitor finds captivating and entertaining, we increase our chances of earning a new customer. Being clever and creative is just as important for the website designer as it is for the park designer.

Premium content offers like ebooks and worksheets are an excellent example of how this can be applied. The goal of these offers is to help move the visitor through the conversion funnel and ultimately toward the goal of becoming a customer. A big part of that conversion takes place inside the offer. The designer has to make the content appear compelling and polished. It's a unique opportunity to prove to a potential client that you understand his or her needs and have a solution. In short, it's the chance to make sure they leave with a sense of “awe" (or at least a warm, fuzzy feeling)!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have. Websites and theme parks aren’t exactly the same thing, but there is one thing they certainly share: designers who care about their visitors!

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Paul Gibson

Paul Gibson

As the leader of our design team, VIEO Design principal and founder Paul Gibson oversees our designers and developers as they create marketing-optimized websites, digital graphics, and print materials. Paul also oversees VIEO's 3D printing division. To date, his most impressive project has been a replacement head for an old My Little Pony. He went with Yoda.

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