While most people have an affinity for online shopping and find it more convenient than brick and mortar shopping, the internet isn’t a perfect solution for business owners who want to engage customers and satisfy all their needs, wants, and desires.
One of the biggest challenges with running an online business – or even just managing your online brand image – is that there’s a veil between you and your customers. No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to mimic the emotional appeal that comes across in face-to-face interactions. And while you’ll never be able to fully overcome this friction, you can do yourself a huge favor by humanizing your website through strategic content and design.
3 Ways to Humanize Your Site
By definition, a website is an inanimate object. But that doesn’t mean you users can’t connect with it in a personal and meaningful way. If this is your objective, you’ll find the following tips very helpful:
- Appeal to Your Users’ Emotions
As humans, we have the ability to feel emotions that other species can’t. Since feeling is what makes us human, you need to find a way to tap into the emotions of your website visitors.
One way to do this is by showing visitors your heart. This web page from Herrman & Herrman, a law firm located in McAllen, Texas, is a good example. Not only does it feature some client testimonials, but the web page also has a section that details the firm’s involvement in the community. This helps people see the firm as a collection of living, breathing, compassionate people, rather than just a business.
There are a variety of ways for you to appeal to the emotions of your visitors. You can share personal anecdotes on your blog, create behind the scenes videos, or profile your employees. The options are limitless.
- Remove Friction
When a visitor lands on your website, they don’t want a clunky experience filled with cumbersome tasks and flashy design elements. They prefer smooth, intuitive processes that mimic the offline interactions they would have with your brand.
“Design should inform and include the user and not feel like a burden,” designer Doug Gerber explains. “Technology implicitly promises and assumes expectations, and the design of that technology has to deliver in a meaningful way that makes the user feel connected.”
By removing friction, you can assist users in their pursuit of a simple, smooth website experience that feels as natural as possible.
- Show Your Face
Your audience wants to know who is behind your business. If they land on your website and only see logos, symbols, and text, they’re going to find it challenging to get to know you. Furthermore, if you use stock photos and impersonal images, this waters down your brand and makes it look like you have something to hide.
One of the more effective web design tips is to use real life images and pictures of you, your employees, and your business. This promotes transparency and fosters a natural connection with your audience. This web page from Trust Hall Insurance is a good example of what this looks like in practice.
Bring Your Website to Life
Your website should make people feel closer to your brand – not separated from it. While you’ll never be able to completely replicate the interactions you have with customers offline, you can do a pretty decent job of connecting with website visitors and making them feel like they have a personal connection with your brand. Now’s the time to start!