It takes planning, care, and attention to detail to create the kind of amusement park that takes your breath away. A website is no different.

For many people, visiting a company’s website is their first glance into who that company is. It’s their time first meeting and it can leave a lasting impression. When you meet someone face to face, you have about seven seconds to make that person form a positive opinion about you. Seven seconds.1 And if you're a website, you get even less time. You get about three seconds.2

So if you’re a website, how do you get people to form a positive opinion and then stick around? You give them Disneyland. I know this sounds weird. We make websites, so why am I talking about Disneyland? Just stick with me.

A website should be a company’s own personal Disneyland. As soon as someone lands on a homepage, they should feel like they’re walking through those ticketing turnstiles and into the park.

Let’s start with the people who go to Disneyland. I would say that people will fall into one of three categories. The first group of people don’t really know much about Disneyland, they don’t know what’s there or what it’s about. Maybe they’ve never been to an amusement park. The second group knows a little about Disneyland. They might know a few of the rides that are there and they’ve been to other amusement parks. They want to figure out why Disneyland is so special. The third group of people know everything about Disneyland. These are your season pass holders. They know exactly which rides they want to ride and in what order.

Regardless of which category you fall into, the second you walk into any Walt Disney park, you are completely immersed. And I’m pretty sure that within those three seconds, you have a pretty good understanding of what you’re getting into.

Once you’re in the park, even if you know exactly what you want to do, Disneyland can be a confusing place. But luckily, everything is broken up into distinct sections and is clearly mapped out, allowing visitors to find what they want. The people who are looking for a specific ride know exactly where to go, and the people who just want to explore can walk around without feeling overwhelmed.

On top of that, everything is beautiful! If Disneyland didn’t look the way it does, I’m positive it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

Then you have all the parts of Disneyland that you don’t see. The people that run the park and make sure that everything is working they way it should. The people who are thinking of ways to make the park better. The people who are fixing things when they break. The people who help you when you get lost and point you in the right direction.

All the planning in the world by itself could not make Disneyland. And all the pretty buildings and rides on their own could not make Disneyland. It’s that combination of things that visitors see and don’t see that makes Disneyland amazing.

A website should be a company’s own personal Disneyland. As soon as someone lands on a homepage, they should feel like they’re walking through those ticketing turnstiles and into the park. Within those three seconds, they should have a positive impression about who that company is.

For many people, visiting a company’s website is their first glance into who that company is. It’s their time first meeting and it can leave a lasting impression.

Regardless of if they’re an explorer just there to poke around, an information seeker trying to figure something out, or they’re there to complete a specific task, no one should be confused or overwhelmed. And everything on the site should be mapped out in a way that allows people to do what they want to do.

In addition, the design of the site should add to the experience. The colors, the way things move, and the pictures all help to give people a feeling of who the company is.

And the team running that website is super important as well. Just like theme parks, websites need maintenance. Things break and need to be fixed. New pages or functions needs to be added over time and sometimes users are lost and confused and need some help.

A well-planned site without the design usually isn’t very enjoyable. And a beautiful site without the planning just makes people mad. It’s the combination of all those things that makes an amazing website.

Now, building Disneyland was not easy. Walt Disney took a long time figuring out what he wanted. It took even more time to plan and build the park. And it was expensive. Once the park opened, running it was an entirely different challenge. But it is truly something amazing.

I like to think that the websites we build are like that. It’s not always quick process. But we get walk with our clients from the very beginning. We help them dream up their Disneyland. Although running a new website can be complicated, we stick by each client and make sure that they have the tools and knowledge they need. And in the end we get to give our clients something truly amazing.

 

1 From Forbes

2 From Entrepreneur

Share on Twitter or Facebook Published June 17th 2016