You’ve just launched your shiny new website, and it checks every digital box on your wish list. Usable? Of course. Great visual design? Absolutely. Fits detailed brand style guidelines? Affirmative. But one component’s missing, and it’s a big one: personality.

Personality is the underlying force of your brand: it communicates emotions, bridges the gap between product and audience, and breathes life into your identity. And it all comes down to finding an essence. It’s similar to the way musicians curate a persona, i.e.: the atmosphere at a Beyoncé concert is entirely different from the intimacy of a Deerhunter show.

So, what are some ways to let your personality shine through your shiny new site?

Find (then use) your voice

Craft a personality that aligns with your company’s values—it’ll help your website feel more “you.” Start with answering questions from a different perspective. What does your brand love or hate? How does it react in a crisis? If it was a celebrity, who would it be? Matching phrases with specific emotions is also a great way to get started.

Maximize the small stuff

Now that you have a brand personality, jump on every opportunity to inject it into all aspects of your user experience. From copy and flows to imagery and illustration, to animation and interactions, and even a live cam of your office (see: the eye icon in the upper right). Thoughtfully employing your brand’s charm will help your site stand out in a sea of robotic blah blah. “Smashing Magazine” published a great article showcasing designers who thought outside the template.

Don’t forget usability

It’s easy to get carried away with bells and whistles (and the lure of utter uselessness) but it’s essential to remember that usability is at the core of every web experience:

After all, no one’s ever said, “I’m thrilled this beautiful product doesn’t work as well as I expected.”

Websites that are valuable to users work as well as they look. Investing in a form of branding beyond design—adding personality—can aid functionality, influence users’ decision-making, and further engage your audience.

And with tech trends moving away from visible interfaces and towards chatbots, voice assistants, and Zero UI, your brand’s you-ness is more important than ever.

Have an original weekend, everybody!

– Your website-advising friends at Brokaw

Websites that are valuable to users include more than just great looks.

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