Don’t lose your audience with a website redesign.

Today my friend Cotton wrote to show me a new website his accounting partners just launched. An “expensive?” site rebuild that took about 2 years (my guess).

It’s a great example of being blind to audience needs.

Click to enlarge

What does this site inspire you to do? What is it about? How do I feel when I’m on this site?

Can you tell what the main benefit is in 20 seconds?

Well, I feel good about nature — but that usage of unnatural solid black ruins the effect. Harsh pitch black doesn’t exist in nature. Even coal is gray with blues and purples. This black is man-made. And the white text also doesn’t have a natural feel. Lowering the contrast or grayscale improves reading when viewing emitted light (screen). Reflected light like off of paper is different. White should be a light gray when on a dark screen background.

Dominant black is a powerful theme. Not a natural theme.

The images are about camping. I feel inspired to go camping! Do they sell camp equipment?

So who is the real market audience for Hayden Ross? Having investigated this 5 years ago, I can tell you: it is not men. It is widows and future widows. Women are inheriting the wealth of America and soon will be in control.

Do women want wealth management? No. They want security.

The widow’s anxiety is dying as penniless bag ladies starving on the street – homeless and alone. Serious. Irrational maybe  — but they fear it and lay awake at night worrying about it.

This business website is totally out of tune with the real market’s motivation and what message to deliver.

List of suggestions


So here’s what would make this site better. Besides loading faster. 🙂

1. If a natural palette is used, white and black should be forbidden.

2. It should be built and designed by a woman for an aging female audience– not a macho man.

3. The client should NOT have art directed this piece (male control issues).

4. It should not be thematically about camping. Too weird.

5. It should be about safety and trust. Not money at all. But preservation of resources. It should be soft and homey. Not a hunting party.

6. The font choice should be friendlier (Humanist) and not utilitarian “Poppins”.

7. The overuse of black is a power trip.

Conclusion: This site is not about empowering future grandmotherly customers. It’s all about the braggadocio and power trip of the owner’s male egos. “We are powerful. Not you.” It’s all about them.

Deciding who your audience is and who they are not is critical for affinity, attraction, and loyalty.

This site rebuild was a waste of money. It will not improve profits or sales.

Why? Because the owners couldn’t let go. Emotionally, it is non-risk taking and irrelevant.

This is one of the things we look to fix when were working with out as a client to create a website that provides for your retirement. It’s very important to put yourself in the mind of your customer.

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