Icon Recognition vs Interactive Links – The Thought Behind Buttons You Can’t Click

social media icon recognition

One of my pet peeves are graphics that look like buttons, but do nothing.  I think of the poor web user punching away at them with their mouse and getting no where. But what about graphics that look like buttons on a box? Well, that’s not nearly as annoying as it sounds.

Yes, I’m torn. Part of me looks at a box with social media icons and I cringe because it violates the rule, “Get them to a destination with the least number of clicks.”  I would really like to see social media icons in print next to a web address that takes me to a page with the icons prominently displayed so I can start an online experience– clicking from a website is a few steps less than going to a social media site online or through an app and typing in a search for a business.

However, these “dead” icons are more of a comment on icon recognition–how recognizable they have become as “logos” for social media sites. They are simple. They are immediately recognized for the sites that they represent. Even the youngest kids know what they are. They are as recognizable as… well, the Nabisco triangle. They announce we’re on social media.

I found the Nilla Wafers page on Facebook (https://facebook.com/nillawafers/). Nilla ain’t my thing but chocolate is so I had to experiment with a chocolate version of their no bake cakes. Sweet!

Bottom line: social media icons are brand recognition.

Nilla wafer chocolate petite fours

Blog Faux Pas: Am I Still On Your Website?

One of the most frequent design faux pas I see is having a blog that looks nothing like your website.  There are several branding features that make a website look and feel like your business: the logo, color, fonts, and layout. Why shouldn’t your blog look and feel like the rest of your company image?

In one click you can lose your audience. They may become confused, thinking they are no longer on your website or visiting something that isn’t part of your company. “Click!” and they’re gone.  They may take a few seconds to read and regroup, realizing this is still part of your site, but then “Click!”… they’re gone. They may get turned off by a blah template blog that looks cheap or gives the impression you are less committed to your own business.

Fortunately we have a fix:
3 Extra Sharp Ideas from Design to Spec to Customize a blog to look like your website.

  1. Bring on the Theme. If using a template, customize your blog with colors, logo, etc. that make your website unique.
  2. Blog on Your Domain. Avoid business blogging on a free hosted blog site through Blogger, WordPress.com, or elsewhere.  When your blog is on your domain, visitors can tell from the browser they are still on your site.
  3. Build a Name. I’ve seen countless instances where bloggers dub their blog something fun, something trendy that says nothing about their business name.  Where is their business name on their blog? Where is their business name in their blog posts? Why is there no business name in the copyright of their blog posts?  It may not be sexy, but there is a lot of traction in naming your blog “Jane Doe’s Business Blog”.

 Design to Spec  can make your blog consistent, more compelling and keep visitors interested.