A Note on Importance

Orange and white text reading if everything is important then nothing is important.

I don’t know about you, but I loved watching the Pixar movie The Incredibles when I was growing up. It’s a movie about how, in a fantastical world of superpowers, you lose sight of the regular, everyday people. At least that’s how I see it. When the villain’s plan is revealed, it comes with a line that’s stuck with me for the last fourteen years:

“When everyone is super, no one will be.”

Little did 15 year old me know, I’d be using a variation of that line in my future career. If everything is important, then nothing is. My job as a designer is to help get the message across, to help advertise people, services, or consumer goods. One thing that is the same from project to project is the issue of overloading the site with several things; chat bubbles, offer pop-ups, graphics for the latest sales in bold all caps, a million different icons and badges in the header, and a logo the that takes up half the page, all clamouring for attention. When in reality, we should be focusing on the main message. Or one main message, and several supporting or enforcing messages to strengthen the brand. If you are a car dealer, we need to find out which is your most important avenue of business and strengthen it. Be it new sales, used sales, servicing, buying cars to resell, or the fact that you have a BBQ every Saturday. Trying to focus on all these things might drive your online visitors away frustrated, unable to see through all of these messages.

So how do we solve this issue? Well, for one, realize you don’t need to have everything on your site “pop”. As a designer, there is nothing I dread more than the words “make it pop” (just typing it sends a shudder down my spine). Having a big sale or a new offer?  Slapping a new, shiny graphic on an already busy site will only add noise and may cause users to feel like your site is untrustworthy. Instead, open a discussion with your designer or marketing manager on the best way to focus on and execute your offer. They can work with you, and help to bring this new offer to your site in a way that can help drive traffic–in a way that complements your website. And together you can craft an amazing campaign to help drive traffic where you want it, and drive customers through your door.

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