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As a web designer, we all get too involved in the web design project that we undertake.
Once we commit to a client, all that we know is that the project needs 100% dedication from our side and we start to design and code from scratch.
Web design is a lot technical but if you ask me how do I perceive these, I would say they have a life. They breathe and they do have a soul.
Let me strike a comparison to make my point clearer to my dear readers. If you take a look at the websites that we design and develop, can you tell what are these?
Nothing but a network of codes interlinked through anchor texts encapsulated inside encrypted data and a lot of information that is accessible only via the web browser.
But, it is the web designer’s excellence that this information becomes the most sought after ones on the internet over the virtual world.
All that matters for the people out there is experience, friendliness and performance and to top it all the personalization or emotional attachment that the design tries to create with them.
A website has a soul and a mind; only when both come together, people can relate to what you are trying to express.
If you observed, you might have found that most of the times designers struggle hard to bring out the life in these designs.
It is all about personalising. You need to create a web design that contains emotions and people can easily relate these with their real life situations.
“A brand is worthless if it cannot connect with the right audiences in a relevant way.” -Anonymous
Here, I am going to help you with personalising your web design for your audiences.
We will be examining the impact of freehand drawing and writing in web design and how it will emotionally attach your customers to you.
Table of Contents
Remember those drawing notebooks from your high school that you still have among your collection of memories from childhood?
Why is it that you still love those?
It is nostalgic. It reminds you of those splendid childhood days and you miss being a kid.
And above all, it’s handwork and not machine-generated which is something close to your heart.
Let’s think of something, say, for example, it’s your birthday and your soulmate presented you with a greeting card and it was a handwritten one. Won’t you treasure it more than any other expensive gifts or cards that they give you?
Why is it so?
Because it contains a handwritten note from them and the amazing fact is that this gift comes to you at the most unexpected time of the century when we are all busy in the world of online gifts.
Where are we going with this?
A note that is handwritten has a lot more prominence over a computer written one.
The same concept applies while you are designing for the web.
There are the Grid and other Artificial Intelligence systems that help you create designs within no time. Today, we have software applications that help us generate volumes of content.
But, your people lack trust in something that has been written by machines which do not possess even 1/3rd of the human intelligence.
Here, comes the credibility and trustworthiness factors.
How does it help to boost personality and generate uniqueness for your brand?
In the above paragraphs, we discussed what it feels like receiving a gift that is handwritten in comparison to machine generated ones.
The same concept applies to content that reflects the effort of drawing with hands.
Smashing Magazine cites the example of Balsamiq to prove the impact of handwriting at generating authenticity. The highlight is the mockup and wireframing tool that it offers that helps in generating the feel of using the basic pen-pencil paper sketches.
Also, the source-code editor Notepad ++‘s logo is noticeable. Anything that is handwritten lacks a kind of perfection and this imperfection is something that is easily recognizable.
The most important point is personality, hand-written content gives a feel that real people have been working on these.
One of the best illustrations to describe personality is the MathBoard an app for kids available on iPad. It helps to enhance their skills in Math.
We all know “Content is the King” and your customer is searching for the best.
So, what are we going to do?
The first thing is you need to consider the kind of content or information that you are planning to display on your website.
The next concern is how you present it, and do you think your people will understand what you are trying to convey.
Folks, here I am talking about luring your people exactly at the moment that they visit your site.
Content that appears to be trustworthy will drive the audience and give them a gut feeling that they should stay on this site.
The following three factors need to be considered when curating content for the web:
Where can you implement free handwriting while crafting content for the web?
a.) Explaining the features in detail:
If you are into a business, you can use hand drawing or writings to illustrate your product features.
You can make it simple and easy for your readers to understand by incorporating in hand drawn icons and similar sketches.
People can interpret the idea or concept that you are trying to convey with ease when you use hand drawings.
b.) Illustrate the process using workflows:
Remember those flowcharts we used to draw back in those school days?
Even today we can recollect what these represented and what was the whole purpose of creating a flowchart.
If you wish to represent a demo of the original working model of your process, then you can use those grumpy bumpy workflows that you have done all by yourself without the help of any machines.
Before we discuss further about user experience, let me cite the importance of developing a user guide that will lead your people through the process.
No matter whether you are designing a site or an app, you need to provide a clear idea of how the system works.
As you know, it is necessary to ease the process of navigation and icons help with the same.
Also Read: Animation: Enhancing User Experience (UX) with the basic principles
Why choose hand drawn icons over computer designed ones when these are more accurate and perfect in shape?
Hand drawn ones are readily acceptable as they are generated by another human and not a machine invention.
There was a time when the people involved in the behind the scenes scenario of a particular website were unknown to the visitors.
But, quite recently there has been a considerable change to this age old tradition and businesses are posting their team and people involved in the business.
Apart from showcasing the people who work in your team and provide the contact details to help people get in touch with your business, it is necessary that you also tell them who is the contact person.
How do you let your people know that real faces exist behind the screens?
Let them know you are approachable:
A study reveals that hand drawn elements can be used to convey that you are approachable. The kind of creativity that these elements exhibit will let people know that you are easy-going.
If your website can create a positive aura even before your people can take a look at the rest of the website, then the rest of the job is done.
Another fact is that it is not easy to generate hand-drawn elements. These represent creativity and passion something that associates to authenticity.
Only if you manage to generate trust will the magic happen and people will express an interest to know what you are trying to say.
Handwriting, in fact, states that there are real people involved in the process. Photos or images can be deceiving.
Who knows whether the people displayed in these pictures are working behind the screens?
Just scribble down the names of your people in your handwriting right below their photos and this will generate unbelievably awesome results.
Think of something entertaining!
How about drawing a few cartoons or some other images, kind of ones we used to find in the newspapers?
Hand drawings are something people find familiar and easy to relate.
Entertainment is the best medium to stay associated with the people who matter to you.
Have you noticed those infographics that have a lot of graphics and other digital marketing involved in its creation?
And how about those that have been drawn carelessly with hands?
Which one would you prefer?
Maybe the first one would be a choice if we go for perfectionism, but the second one is an easier bet when it comes to analyzing what it contains.
When you draw stories with your hand, people would love it for sure.
Another factor that needs consideration apart from the user experience.
When you manage to generate an awesome user experience, you want the next action to take place and that is user engagement.
As we have already discussed in the paragraphs above, when people see hand drawings that are impressive and creative, it creates a sense of authenticity and they automatically start trusting you,
Then, the next step is they engage with your business.
They do the job of attention seekers.
Yes. It is unusual to find handwritten manuscripts or icons that are drawn with the hand in the medium of the web.
So, when people come across these it generates a curiosity and they are automatically lured to find out more.
A few handwritten notes that includes comments or guidelines could create magic at generating trust.
Also, you can use this handwritten method to:
This is the first and foremost fact that comes into consideration before you start writing or drawing.
Whether these will suit the nature of your website? Depending on your audience and the kind of products that you are promoting you need to develop a design concept for your website.
Suppose your website is an Ecommerce site specializing in the sale of aircraft maintenance parts and you go about doing some hand work around these, it will be a total misfit.
These are the basics of free hand drawings and writings that we all know but due to some or the other reason fail to implement these in our web designs.
Even I would love to try these in my website designs and see how it works.
Have you ever tried using free handwritings and drawings in your website designs?
How far has it helped you to generate a positive response from your customers when compared to the digitized showcase that we often display?
Share your thoughts, comment and suggestions with us.
Acodez IT Solutions supplies a range of web design and development services in India and across the globe.
We implement the latest technologies and incorporate our ideas when designing a site or an app for our clients. This approach has helped us provide our clients with exactly what they want.
We are also a digital marketing solutions provider. Our team of inbound experts will help you to plan SEO strategies and more to help you take your business to the next level.
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Thanks for sharing this amazing post. It is true that adding a personalized touch to your website design can do wonders and have a lasting effect on your visitors. Moreover, a thorough understanding of the needs of your readers can help you deliver just what they are looking for through your web design.
All the way with you Krishnan Kutty – This is an amazingly well-visualized blog. You just took everything back to basics. Right from learning in art school to the latest digital content marketing you have it all covered! It would be nice to hear from you as to what users actually expect and how we view them. User empathy plays a great role in web designing. Could you write something on that? Your language rendition and style are exquisitely understandable and of course reader-friendly! Keep it up.
Yashika, thanks for catching up and finding time to comment. I shall consider your request and will soon write on user psychology. Meanwhile you can check our blogs on human psychology.