It’s hardly news anymore that good web design is key to the strength of a brand. Indeed, in our ultra modern era of online storefronts and clickable everything, a good website can be the thing that sets you apart from competitors or drags you down into the proverbial muck. Simply put, since your website is likely/often your first point of contact with customers, it is quite literally the site of the first impression. This means that your website reflects how you do business, and ultimately how your clients and would-be clients perceive you from the get-go. Will your websites turn curious ganders into conversions and loyal regulars, or send people packing? It all starts with how you present your text and your visuals, and what kind of experience users have when they visit.
Ready to commit to investing in and maintaining a quality website? Here are a few key things to keep in mind:
Be clear & well-organized
A quality website is clean, clear, concise, properly branded, and ultimately easy to navigate in terms of style and layout. In short, it should motivate visitors to do business with you! The purpose of your site and the value it offers should be made immediately clear when someone lands on your home page. If the first thing a viewer sees is a list of products or services, with a secondary list of features and specifications, but no description of benefits or what’s actually included, they are likely to turn away in search of a site that offers more complete information. Your hours of operation, location, contact info, and even social media profile buttons should be easy to find. Make it easy for people with a human-friendly design and they’ll pick you. Easy as pie.
Be streamlined & aesthetically pleasing
Your website should be designed to make reading content and absorbing information easy, engaging, and as enjoyable as possible. Watch out for unnecessary visual clutter, or ads that can distract from your main goal or even annoy potential clients. Does your site employ visuals and other media when called for, and not just to fill empty space? Visitors can tell the difference. Also be aware that the font style, size, and colour you choose make a statement about you. Are yours projecting the professional tone you’re after? Take measures to correct any spelling or grammatical errors, and avoid cheap-looking clip art, blurry images, inconsistent fonts, or awkward empty spaces. Your look should be cohesive and appealing. Although this may at times seem subjective, a good designer can help you make light of those seemingly murkier choices.
Look good across all browsers & devices
A great website doesn’t just look good from a particular angle or in a particular light. In other words, your site should maintain its good looks across browsers and devices. Browser test your website to make sure it looks right and functions properly, and be sure to do the same for use on mobile devices. The current trend of forever increasing mobile use means your website needs to be designed for optimal mobile viewing in addition to good ol’ desktops.
To design a good, effective website is to prioritize the customer experience. After all, the easier it is to interact with your business across all touch points, the more inclined people will be to lurk about and see what you’ve got in store.