Chapter Six

Conversion-Centric Design

There was a time in my life when I was a full-time web designer, but I never seemed to get along perfectly with other graphic designers. It took some time to understand why, but I eventually figured out that we had fundamental differences in how we looked at design. It turned out that although I was a designer, I was not a graphic artist. Simply put, I did not lead with my artist foot. I was an entrepreneur first. For me, everything I did on a website had to make sense for the user and for the business first. Making it pretty and stylish was important to me, but that was a secondary consideration. This was almost the exact opposite of how most traditional graphic designers viewed their work. Over time through my entrepreneurial endeavors, I realized how important this distinction was.

Once I realized this distinction, I stopped calling myself a designer or graphic artist because it was confusing people (and myself). Traditional design is focused on the ideals of beauty and other elements, such as branding. Although these things are important, they are just one small factor on a website from a conversion rate optimization (CRO) perspective. From my point of view, the business’s bottom line is the most important thing, and any element that adds to that is important. Any element that hurts the bottom line, or bottom line potential, needs to be reconsidered and most likely revised, even if it’s beautiful. My preference is to get the best of both ...

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