Fictive Kin

Facts, Not Feelings

If you take away one thing from this whole guidebook, it should be that your website is a means to an end. Not an end in and of itself. 

The only way to know whether a website is good or bad is to measure its performance. A good site will deliver the results you want it to. A bad one won’t. It’s as simple as that. 

Do we want it to look good? Absolutely!

Do we want it to position the company as a category leader? Without a doubt.

But we also want it to print money and generate leads (or whichever results your business needs most).

A common failure mode in creating a new website, is to make purely subjective decisions about design, structure, and content. Your site becomes a vibe check of the current state of your organization and its leadership. It has the colors they like. It references their favorite other site designs. It has a particular animation that everyone loves.

Appealing to the internal team can feel like the right thing to do (everybody loves consensus, right?), but in the long run it is harmful to the success of the project.

It’s remarkably easy for this to happen. For example, the ghost button (shown below) has been very much on trend for the last few years. And yet all the data shows that CTAs using a ghost button significantly underperform a more traditional button style.

Ghost buttons typically have 19% lesser conversion rate than solid, boldly colored buttons.

When designing based on feel, you might go with the trendier, cooler looking option. But if you are designing with the data in mind, you’d never touch them. 

There are three levels of metrics worth considering in a well-functioning web system

  • Sitewide Metrics

  • Audience-Specific Metrics

  • Page-Level Metrics

A well-functioning web system will ensure that the metrics at each level start off strong and continue to grow.