There’s more to Cosplay than just costumes. And we wouldn’t be respectable Nerds if we didn’t find ways to force Cosplay into as many conversations as possible. So, here’s the latest attempt…4 lessons for your website you can learn from Cosplay:
Cosplay is all about standing out. Cosplay isn’t a place or a convention – it’s a practice and a state of mind. Much like the internet, there are tons of other people vying for the spotlight and the only way you’re going to get a little bit shining on you is to stand out! Be creative. Approach what might be a common idea a little differently.
You could go to a convention and see 100 Spidermen (Spidermans?) but sometimes one of them stands out. They did something a little unique within their costume. They focused on a different aspect of Spiderman. Maybe they even dressed up as one small part of Spiderman (like his hand) and went into exquisite detail in that area.
The same is true for your website. It’s unlikely that you’re attempting to do something that nobody else has ever done before. But it’s your approach, your spin, your flavor that will make all the difference. Figure out what your approach is. What are you focusing on that others are not. What areas can you give extra attention to that other websites don’t? What makes going to your site more fun or enjoyable than the next guy? Standing out makes sure you are not easily forgotten.
Cosplay has a portion of alone time (planning, creating, testing & refining costumes) and so should your website. But the end result is intended to be shared! Same thing with your website. When you have something you’re proud of, share it! Be social. There are endless platforms online to share your website and your related experiences. Blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so many more.
This isn’t about pushing your idea or your website on people that aren’t interested. It’s about being part of a community. People want to share. They want to see what you created and they want to share what they created. Sharing not only spreads your idea but creates inspiration for your next idea. The best Cosplay costume ever created will never go viral if it’s just hanging in a closet somewhere.
Pay Attention to Detail
Having a great idea and a great concept are wonderful. But to have anything worthwhile, the execution needs to follow. When creating a costume, sometimes people get so lost in the grand idea that the details are left out. The details make the costume. And the details make the website.
Thinking about how someone will use your website, what their thought process might be, what they have seen elsewhere that they don’t want to see on your site, and more are just some of the details to consider when crafting your website. You have no doubt been to many similar websites but for one reason or another, one of them (or a small handful of them) stand out to you and you keep going back to them. That’s what the details do. They go unnoticed by users, but they leave that “special something” impression that keeps people coming back. Don’t overlook the details.
Keep it fresh
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of a successful website. A website is like any other piece of advertising or marketing; it needs to stay updated and fresh. You don’t see the same commercials year after year for the same products. When you walk into a store to shop for something, it most likely doesn’t look exactly the same as it did years ago. Things have to stay fresh to be interesting. Look and feel, items available, cultural references, etc. all need to stay updated.
The same is certainly true for your website. Once you get a website up and running it’s easy to take a big sigh of relief and feel like you’re done. And you should. But that sigh of relief can’t last forever. The website you put up will be new to your visitors and it will still feel fresh for a little while. But eventually it will start to get outdated. If your site has content on it such as blog posts, those need to be kept up and stay relevant. If your site sells products, they should stay relevant as well in terms of pricing, terminology, descriptions, pictures, etc. Even the general look and feel need to be refreshed occasionally. You are a user of the internet and you visit websites every day. Without noticing it, you’re getting a feel for what the latest website design trends are. You’re seeing sites that are more image based, larger fonts, etc. If you land on a site that seems to have a style from from a long time ago, the likelihood of you staying on that site (or especially purchasing something on it) is very low. There is an underlying concern that you’re on a website that is not up to date which might mean not secure, not accurate, and possibly not even in business or monitored any more.
Keeping content updated and the occasional refreshing of your design is how to instill confidence in your visitors. A properly built website can have the design slightly updated & refreshed without complete reprogramming so be sure your developer is building your site in a way that is scalable for your future.
There you go. Take a tip from Cosplay and make your website just as interesting & attention grabbing!
What other Cosplay inspired tips do you have?