Choosing the Website Concept

Choosing between a good alternative and a bad one is easy. Choosing between two good alternatives is something else entirely. Frankly, this is why I don’t usually present more than one concept to a client; I’d rather get it completely clear beforehand and go with one confidently.

However, some designers — and some clients–  like to start with a couple of choices.

Above, you  can see the current website of Kansas City area roofers Bill West Roofing.  Below you see the two options designer Tom Hapgood came up with for them. Chances are, you see immediately that the screenshots below are more professional, more impressive, more readable, and more attractive that the one above.

But what if you’re faced with these two lovely designs and you have to choose between them? How can you make sure you’re going with the right one?

Here are some suggestions:

  • If you have a visceral response — an immediate preference on no particular grounds– go with it. If you second-guess yourself, you’ll always wonder whether you made the right choice and never really be satisfied.
  • Consider your target audience. The first version above is a bit more hip, with its diagonal lines and bird’s eye view. The second one is a little more traditional, more like the original, current site. Many of the people wanting roof repairs and new roofs are older, so the second version might be a more comfortable choice for them. If Bill West wants to be the hip roofer in town, though, then the first choice would convey that feeling better.
  • Relax. They’re both equally good. Don’t suffer over the decision. Flip a coin if you need to. As the coin spins in the air, you may realize which outcome you’re hoping for. If not, then either one will work.

For websites, you pretty much have to pick one.  For other things — brochures, headers, etc. — I may go ahead and pay for both so I can have them both to use in the future.

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