Blocking Sales with Bad Design

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A staple in the business of selling is the old phrase “you don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.” That’s essentially the message behind this post from Pop Stalin Design, who has a brief little suggestion, as a way of introducing a post on SEOmoz about the same topic, to online retailers that, in order to sell, you’ve got to make people trust that you’re worthy of their money. And how do you do that? Well, it may seem obvious, but many clients don’t realize the importance of quality page design:

Designers, myself included, are always trying to prove that good design is worthwhile — I may do it too often here making myself sound like a broken record. When I visit a site to purchase a product, if the site looks like crap, I’ll look elsewhere for that product and even pay a bit more if necessary. The look of a site tells me a lot about the company — and one thing poor design tells me is not to trust the company. Is that a fair assumption to make? In some cases, yes it is but I’d guess in most it’s not. It just means the company in question was looking for a cheap solution but what does that say to the end-user?