Signs your designer is an Amateur - #1 Everything must line up

I see clients who need a new website because of many reasons. Often they have fallen for the "you can build your own website in 5 minutes with...." then they act surprised when they hit roadblocks or end up with a site that looks like Frankenstein's Monster! Case two is the old website... ok, sometimes it's a really old website, and sometimes its not that old but it employs outdated design techniques that make it look older than it is. Old or new, paid for or free, these situations all have one common problem...The Amateur!

Lets continue through the most pervasive compulsions that Amateurs propose, and why.

#1 Everything must line up:

rayban_rare43

Sounds good right? I'm sure when in 4th grade art class we all can remember the admonishments of our art teacher; "stay in the lines, don't make a mess, make sure everything lines up!"

RayBan spends a couple bucks on advertising, and probably hires better than average, so what can we can learn from them? The primary element used here is "art". The ad uses the look of a modern art piece to grab the attention of the target audience. If you wanted the attention of an Accountant, you probably would use a different image. The point is, that the look and feel are not just sending a message that says "Here is who I am!" it says "look at me". The power of "look at me", is that the viewer is the one who is attracted and makes the decision to look closer based on their interest. Think of meeting new people. Have you ever met a new person who tells you who they are, what they do, how they feel, and continues to babble on about themselves until you finally say, "Ooops, I have to go." Is that you? Wouldn't it be better to attract interest than to try to force feed it? In case you are still tempted to force feed your message to viewers, think about the old days when telemarketers would canvas every home with a canned script. No matter what you said, they would persist... no matter the reason, they kept on. Only your hang up of the phone would stop the assault. The problem with non-targeted efforts is that they waste  time and resources.

So "Targeted" sounds good right? Well it sounds good to everyone until they realize that by targeting some they must exclude others. Most novice marketers still want to be all things to all people, and excluding people scares the crap out of them. Fact is, excluding prospects is part of any sales process. It's called qualifying. If your selling Cheeseburgers, you are best to avoid advertising or pitching to Vegetarians. Face it everyone is not your customer and everything must not need to line up!