February 17th, 2019 - Websites

Prioritize Pretty

Dreamy websites don’t just look good, they convert 

It happened again last week. I was slipped a know-it-all blog written by someone who didn’t know at all what they were talking about. It was a silly piece really – warning about the pitfalls of a beautiful website. 

Sound the alarms –  the biggest mistake you can make when building a website is to prioritize pretty??? 


What this writer fails to understand is that in an age where we have mere seconds to grab and hold someone’s attention online, an easy on the eyes website is essential. 

In fact, creating a tantalizingly beautiful website is one of the key steps to ensuring a flawless user experience, an experience that keeps visitors’ eyes on your pages longer and converts them from mere visitors to buyers. 

Imagine you are buying a house. You’re touring with your realtor and you pull up to a home that looked good on paper but the grass is overgrown, the exterior paint is peeling, and there’s tape holding the front window in place. 

You and your realtor exchange eyerolls and move on down the street.

This time you can’t wait to jump out of the car. There’s a gorgeous rose garden, grass so fresh that you could turn it into a putting green, and the house itself is a work of art. 

This is the house that promises all the good things. One that you trust your precious time to leisurely stroll through, appreciating the beauty and absorbing the details. 

That right there is the value of a beautiful website … it makes a promise on behalf of your business to everyone who drops by. It says – ‘we’re not like everyone else, we’re better’ – before your visitors even take a minute to read a word of copy.

And just like the house tour, when your website is designed to perfection visitors will trust you with their time. They’ll slow down to read the copy, to click through to new pages, to absorb all the wonderful things you want them to know about your business. 

But don’t take my word for it. 

The best designs are the right mix of art and science so when we build sites we test them. And when I hire a user experience expert to test Blackcoffee’s websites, the results are unprecedented – time and time again. 

Visitors spend much more time than the average on the pages of our client websites  soaking in the beauty, the experience AND reading the well-crafted words.

Let’s look at this client website for example McDonald Luxury Homes. The simplicity of the site, the fewer words, the lack of bells and whistles, defies ‘how it’s being done.’ Yet, when we laid out the strategy this website was the solution. 

And then we tested. I brought in an expert and she watched users interact on the site. Traced their cursors. Counted the seconds they spent on each page. And while she was watching, she was surprised to see that seconds turned in to minutes, that viewers took their time to scroll through the website enjoying the pages, reading the copy and ultimately clicking through to the contact page. 

And while these results were somewhat surprising compared to ‘normal’, they were exactly in line with our web strategy. We were delighted, but not surprised. 

The moral of the story? Beautiful websites attract clients, invite them to linger, read the words, absorb the photography. And they leave an impression. 

Want to be remembered? Give your visitors a reason to stick around.

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at www.BlackcoffeeStudio.com


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.