As part of our on-going series on how to write better website copy, today we’re going to discuss one of the pitfalls that many people fall into when trying to be creative. They try to break the rules just to appear like an outside-the-box thinker.
Ignore convention. You know how we’re accustomed to certain things? Stop signs are always red. They’re always octagons. They’re always on the right side of the road. When we’ve become accustomed to certain things, we expect them to be that way. If you’re trying to be clever and break with tradition in your website design, you may wind up regretting it. What if someone decided to make stop signs green? Would people still stop? Think about how confusing it can be to drive on the opposite side of the road in England. If you’re trying to break all the rules and be creative with your site by thinking outside of the box, it’s the equivalent of dropping your visitors into a round-about in London. They’re likely going to be confused, a little uneasy and will want out of there. Convention isn’t always a bad thing. You and I have visited thousands of sites over the past decade and have become accustomed to things like “home” or “contact us” and when they change to other, outside-the-box terms, we’re lost. Keep your copy compelling and fresh but never sacrifice the familiarity people have with the Web just to be original in your website design.