Your Customers Don’t Care What Your Website Looks Like

These days it’s pretty easy to put together a fairly good looking website, but I’m here to break some bad news to you, Sunshine:

Your customers don’t care what your website looks like – they care what it works like.

Potential customers don’t set out on a search for a nice looking website, they are searching for a good company that they can trust to deliver the product or services they need or want just then.

But the reality is that you can’t tell whether a company is good or bad just by looking at their website’s design.

You must read the website, interact with the information, and develop some level of trust as you consider spending your time or money on that service or product, or taking that class.

Does this company seem reputable? Is it a good fit for me? Is this really what I’m looking for? Can I trust them with my credit card? What’s the return policy? Can I call and ask questions? Are other customers happy with their experience?

These are the types of questions people really ask themselves when making the decision to do business with a company, and these are the things they will want to know from you. (Just like you do, when you search online.)

Surface versus Substance

When thinking about your website, don’t get seduced by a slick design template or a fancy looking screenshot of someone else’s website in a designer’s portfolio.

Put yourself in the mind of a person who knows nothing about you and ask yourself: Would I trust this company to take care of me and not screw me over? (I can assure you that the delicious shade of teal you are in love with will not do the trick.)

Now, I’m definitely not saying that your website shouldn’t look good – but it had certainly better be good at its job if it’s going to succeed.

Form follows Function

Below, I have compiled an outline of some important insights to consider when building your website.

Notice that most of the below points have nothing to do with color, shape or graphic design, but instead emphasize good and well organized information, clear communication, and useful functionality.

Once you have the right functions in place, a very nice form (read: the design) will follow practically all by itself.

At KPFdigital we’ve learned this stuff over the course of building and launching several hundred successful websites. Ignore these tips at your own risk.

The Traps

  • Don’t be seduced by slick looks and color
  • This is not an art project or painting for your wall
  • What it looks like isn’t as important as what it does
  • Fancy tools are only as good as the work they perform

The Correct Mindset

  • Forget about yourself – look through the eyes of your visitor
  • Clear the “I like this” or “I don’t like that” line of thinking
  • Get into a real consumer mindset; Is this for real? Can I trust this?
  • Imagine that it’s your time and money on the line, or perhaps your safety and security which is at stake. (This is what you’re asking your customers to do!)

What Customers Want To Know

  • Is this what I’m looking for?
  • Is this the right thing for a person like me?
  • Are you located near me?
  • What does it cost?
  • Can I trust you?
  • Are you an expert, or are you new at this?
  • Will there be any surprises?
  • If I need help, will you help me?
  • Is it safe?
  • What if something goes wrong?
  • Have other people tried it?
  • Can I return it or get a refund easily?

Customers Don’t Really Care

  • What shade of purple you have as a background
  • What exact fonts you chose
  • Whether it’s made with HTML, PHP, or MySQL
  • Whether your boyfriend or girlfriend really, really, really likes it

Customers Really Do Care

  • Can they trust you?
  • Can they find can you on Google?
  • Can they read your site on a mobile phone?
  • Can they navigate/find things easily?
  • Does it load fast, or really slow?
  • Is it secure enough to enter their credit card info?
  • Will they be over-marketed (spammed) after purchase?

Reality Check Please

  • Your website is NOT an art project: Looks do matter, but offering and delivering trustworthy service, products or information is what really matters
  • Your website is not for you, it’s for your visitors: Make sure you understand their needs and make sure those needs are met
  • Trust and credibility are absolutely critical: Most of your customers will never have met you personally, so your website must stand in for you. If you knew nothing else about yourself, would you gain enough trust from your website to do business with you or your company?

Check out our Featured Projects here.

Simplified and Streamlined Customer Experience

Just launched a total redesign for AU Storage, Student Storage at American University in Washington DC.

This e-commerce website allows AU students to sign up and pay for their storage needs during off-periods from school such as over the summer or during study abroad semesters.

We simplified and streamlined the signup process, and implemented several layers of automatic follow up messaging to keep customers up to date. The goal is to increase sales, and save administrative time and effort for the AU Storage staff.


Project built and managed by Kenneth Feldman at KPFdigital.

Art direction by Michael Kroll at Sheep In Disguise.

Total Redesign for Book Publisher VENDOME PRESS

Just completed a total redesign for book publisher VENDOME PRESS.

Earlier in the year, we completely rebuilt the framework and backend of this website to make it easier for Vendome staff to manage and update their book catalog.

Now, in phase two, we’ve applied a new 2017 branding to the frontend of the website, while retaining all of the really neat stuff we built for the backend.

New brand look developed by fabulous design firm Charles and Thorn of Brooklyn, NY.


KPFsecret: Self-destructing Encrypted Notes

kpfsecret-snipped site-screenshot

KPFdigital announces the launch of our self-destructing notes website:

This website allows you to securely send PINs, messages, passwords, or other sensitive or private information.

All notes are fully encrypted, and then permanently destroyed immediately after viewing.

To Use*:


  1. Type or paste your note into the box provided
  2. Click the Submit Secret Note button
  3. Copy secret link provided and send to recipient via email or text message

Your recipient simply clicks your link in their email or text app, thereby revealing their secret note on the KPFsecret website.

After the note is viewed once it is completely and permanently deleted. Subsequent clicks on your link will only lead to an empty page.

*Alternately, for extra-extra security you may create a passphrase which the recipient must enter after clicking the link you send. Typically, the passphrase can be sent by separate method to help prevent unauthorized access of your link if more than one person has access to the recipient’s email.

Why Did We Make This?

At KPFdigital we’re careful to always use industry best practices when it comes to internet security. We go to great effort to create and use only highly secure and different passwords for all online accounts.

We made the KPFsecret website because as web developers we frequently need to send passwords or other sensitive account information that we’ve created for our customers during a project. (It’s also a way for our customers to send us info securely as well.)

We prefer not to ever send important domain, mail, or other account passwords via email because that information may remain sitting in the recipients inbox forever. If the email account is ever compromised, that information could be stolen and used inappropriately.

Sending this type of information via a self-destructing note leaves no electronic trace of the info anywhere, in neither the sender’s nor recipient’s email boxes.

Safe Password Management

At KPFdigital, we make good use of a secure password manager application for securely storing and retrieving passwords for all types of online accounts. We like the 1Password app from Agile Bits, and use it on our desktop and mobile devices alike. We highly recommend that you also utilize such an app, as it will allow you to have secure and different passwords for all websites, while providing secure and easy access to that info.

KPFsecret is made from the free and open source Python web application d-note. More info about how the website works can be found here: Security, FAQs, About.

You are free to use the KPFsecret website, however continued operability or existence of this website is neither offered nor guaranteed.

What is Responsive Website Design?


Responsive website design means that your website will automatically adjust its layout to look great on any device that it is being viewed on.

The images, text, and design elements will respond in real time to the size of the screen that your visitor is using.

So whether your website is being seen on a full sized computer, a tablet device such as an iPad, or a smartphone such as an iPhone or Android phone, the content that your user sees is sized and arranged uniquely for best viewer experience.
Read the rest of this article »

Make Your Google Searches 10x More Efficient


I do a lot of searching on the Internet.

Unfortunately, by default, Google only shows 10 search results per page.

And many times what I’m looking for is not in the top ten search results on Google.

Even if I do find an item on the first page of the search results, I usually like to review several results, and I find that paging through the search results page-by-page is annoying. There are always more than ten search results, and I don’t just want to see the tip-of-the-iceberg, I want to see the whole thing at once!

So here’s how to make your Google searches 10x more efficient:

Just go to the Search Settings link in the cogwheel/gear icon located in the upper right corner of any search results page — quick link here.

Next, turn off Google Instant predictions, and then set the Results per page slider to 100, instead of the Google default of 10 per page.

Lastly, tick the box for Open each selected result in a new browser window. What this does is to open clicked links in a new tab. This is so much more useful, because after you look at the page you clicked on, you can close that tab, or just go back the Google Results tab right where you left off.

That’s it!

Now each search yields 100 results per page, and you can simply scroll down the page to see them all. No more clicking forwards and backwards through all those pages.

Now your Google searches will be 10x more efficient!

(BTW: Yahoo works the same way.)