"WOW factor" is a very abstract and subjective method for describing a website design. It means different things to different people. and it really depends on the persons definition of the term 'wow' and the individual users aesthetic tastes.
To some 'WOW' means something that is unique and different from other websites. To others 'WOW' means something that is quirky and has a fun factor. While to others 'WOW' means something that is very professional, intuitive and easy to use.
The only way that the designer is able to produce a website that has WOW factor in the eyes of the client is to first of all find out exactly what the client means when they say they want a design with the 'WOW' factor.
More often than not the WOW factor that the client may have in mind will conflict with a number of important website design criteria, such as, following web standards, intuitive and easy to use navigation, persuasive conversion pathways and Search engine friendly content; important if you are looking to generate results. - Which is the objective of most commercial websites
Also The website design that the design team produces is very dependent upon the material that they are provided to work with. One of the key factors that influences the quality of the website design is the quality of the photography used within the design. If the team are provided with poor or no imagery then they will look to source stock photography online.
Often the websites that are referred to as exhibiting WOW factor are actually very minimal, very simple and plain. Such a design enhances the quality illustration or photography that the website displays. Imagine the http://www.porsche.co.nz/ website with an average image from a home camera, taken out in the car park on a cloudy day, .....suddenly the WOW factor has gone.
The WOW factor comes primarily from the images, which are a component of the companies visual identity or brand. A companies brand or public image is made up of, logos, illustrations, colours, photos, design elements and text messages.
Good quality branding images are very expensive......Stock images are the cheapest option and range from between $200 and $1000 per image, depending upon the use, the resolution and the period......Custom Illustration or photography could be more, depending upon costs of studios, makeup, models etc...... Read more about the main online suppliers of stock photography, their pro's and con's, pricing etc.
But the image itself is the inexpensive part....I always like to use the Zeald Levitating man as an example, if we added up the hours and resource that it took to find and decide that one image, the money we spent for the royalties seems very insignificant.
While you're at the Porsche site, also imagine how well such a homepage would do with the search engines.....often WOW factor means simple, minimal designs, which means minimal content......remember the search engines rely on the text content of a page to provide a ranking. Something that a large brand such as Porsche have less concern with.
So in summary, when it is WOW factor that you are looking for in your website design, first of all think exactly what do I mean by WOW factor?
To help you determine exactly what WOW factor means to you and for you to best convey this abstract and subjective description to the designer we recommend that you find a website that in your eye conveys WOW factor. You should then check the design of this website and compare it with the objectives of your website. You should also check that the properties of this website that conveys WOW factor do not conflict with the objectives of your website.
Your Zeald consultant or designer can help you determine this.