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What is Conversion Design?

Sarah Graveling
Sarah Graveling
Creative Director
16 March 2010

Conversion design or conversion focused design is the collaboration of several different disciplines creating a journey that is considerate of the varied needs and expectations of the user to maximise conversion.

When I first started designing websites over 10 years ago, the main deliverable was a web presence that reflected the brand. Possibly in flash that gained attention, with the measure of success being a satisfied client.

About 4 years ago a client came to Tamar and wondered why despite lots of traffic gained from PPC, users weren’t applying for a loan on their site. By just redesigning the homepage, with a clear direction and calls to action we increased the traffic to the loan form by 400%. Obviously getting much more value from their PPC costs.

Now with analytics and user testing everything is measurable. The focus is no longer on the client, but on the user, a successful site being high, consistent conversion rates.

Some key areas to aid successful conversion design projects are:

Competitor research

Educating the project team on the competition is an essential starting point for most projects. Consider the brand message, user journeys, the level of information supplied and the SEO of the site enables us to make educated decisions throughout the project life cycle.

Information Design

Making sure all the information is accessible, prioritised and grouped correctly forms the main structure of the site.

User Testing and User Centered Design

User testing is invaluable when trying to increase conversion. Analytics will tell you where your site is failing, but it won’t help you solve the problem. Personal user testing will help you evaluate the problems and reach solutions.

Persuasive Design

As well as focusing on what the user can do with usability, think about what the user will do. We use persuasive techniques and strong design to encourage trust and increase sales.


There are many elements to writing good content online. Less than 16% of users read word for word online, so copy should be written for scan readers and also SEO.


At Tamar we know that what is good for accessibility is good for SEO, so accessibility is key. Accessibility also equals more visitors.

Search Engine Optimisation

Keeping SEO at the core of the project will enable as much value from the site as possible when it comes to search rankings. Building your site for SEO is an investment that will pay you back again and again.

Customer Service

You can’t anticipate all the questions a user may have. Having a visible telephone number or contact form with a speedy response will maximise your conversions and encourage trust with the user.



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