The year is 2013, the competition is tough, the number of web design competitors is high, and you only have 3-10 seconds to make the most recent visitor to stay on your website. If they stay, chances are that they can be converted, and to make them stay, web design plays a critical role.

Don’t get us wrong, we still believe that content is king. However, the web design can highlight and present the content effectively and efficiently, or it can overpower it thus reducing the effectiveness and clarity of the message. When it comes to conversions, web design and the UI play an equally important role along with the content of the website.

Persuasive web designs, and web designs with clarity, are often considered as two opposite ends of the spectrum. When one thinks of persuasive web design; flash animations, bright eye catching colours, banners, and similar features come to mind. The main aim of a persuasive web design is to capture the user’s attention within the first few seconds of their arrivals.

However, persuasive designs may not always equal conversions. Once the users stay, they start to browse and try to find what they are looking for, and if they can’t find what they are looking for, they move onto another website.

That’s where clarity comes in. If your UI is easy to use, if your text consists of headings and subheadings that deliver the message, and if every page has a clear call to action, your conversion rate will rise. You either go for a persuasive design or a design with clarity, but we recommend you shoot for the stars and try to get the best of both worlds by combining design elements of persuasion and clarity.

Clarity does not exclusively mean large images and fonts, it means the average user should be able to understand who you are and what you do within the first glance. If you are selling pet products, your headline should clearly say so. The users should be able to identify the call to action, and should be able to find the buttons you want them to click.

They should not have to look too hard for the ‘place your order’, ‘contact us’, ‘buy’ and similar buttons, or they will simply move on to other websites. The hyperlinks should be prominently displayed, and the banners and flash animations should not take their attention away from the text you want them to read or from the images you want them to see.