With just over 1 billion websites on the world wide web and more added daily, it’s more important than ever to ensure your website not only stands out but works hard for your business. A professionally designed and developed website that focuses on user experience, becomes the online headquarters of all your digital advertising campaigns. Acting as an additional channel and arm of your brand, it is the perfect tool to be able to reach, acquire and convert new potential customers that may have never even heard of you
That being said, there are fundamental factors to take into consideration when designing a website that is vital to ensuring your website not only stands out and compliments the characteristics of your brand but is designed to move customers through a well-built journey. This can be done with expert user experience and user interface design. Two techniques we use as professional web designers but what are the key areas to consider?
Typography can make or break a well-designed website. Unfortunately, many brands fall down on choosing a well thought out font and typography for their website. We’ve all seen those sites that have great images and even a well-imagined layout but the font is hard to read or too small which hinders your user’s experience. This can be a very fast deciding factor when a new customer first visits your website.
Remember that the point of your website is to inform new and existing online customers of your products or services. Even with a highly aesthetic product, delivering unique selling points is extremely important.
Try matching your typography to your brand or choose fonts and colours that contrast your brand styling well to ensure that you both suit your business and have clear, readable text.
Design Tip: Onsite typography doesn’t always refer to the on-page text. Often brands use highly customised fonts to showcase a product or theme. For example, a Halloween banner may have text in the form of scratch marks.
Images, Illustrations & Graphics
Just like typography, poorly edited images that are grainy, over processed or too small can make a website instantly look unprofessional. If you are trying to show off your products or services, then it’s necessary to have images that reflect the quality of your work. However, it’s not just your onsite users that dislike bad images, Google does too! If images are too large, unclear and lacking alt text will have you being favoured less than companies who do all of these things when it comes to search engine results pages (SERPs).
Likewise, graphics and illustrations are an important representation of your brand image. It might be that your business prefers more of a brutalist personality and therefore your customers might expect more abstract graphics. Ultimately, the images, graphics and illustrations that you use on your website should suit and enhance your brand’s image and characteristics whilst showcasing your products as best as possible.
Design Tip: Imagery in different areas of your website should vary depending on the specific location. Product imagery should be clear and detailed as well as representing its uses. Hero imagery on the other hand should really exhibit your products! Use negative space to draw a user’s eye to your product.
This is a no brainer. Having your website’s colour palette matching your branding is absolutely vital for customers acknowledging a link between the tangible and the digital. Naturally, it would be very difficult for a customer to visit a coffee shop with red and gold brand colours only to find their website has a blue and silver colour palette.
Colours are so important to brands that it isn’t uncommon for specific colours to be so innately relatable to certain companies. So much so that even saying the colour to someone can refer them to a brand. Like the colour purple. Companies have even been known to trademark specific colours.
Design Tip: It’s important to understand that different colours trigger different emotions and thoughts in users psychologically. Red= action, Yellow= positivity/ happiness. Use colours to evoke certain emotions in different areas of your webpage.
Whilst the aesthetics of your website are important and help users to decide whether to stay and browse or whether to leave, the way in which a user navigates your site is just as important.
There is nothing worse than coming across a well-developed landing page with no easy way to navigate to other pages! Having a clear journey through the various areas of your site is fundamental to moving through the customer journey map and resulting in a conversion. All too often the problem with low conversion on a website is the navigation either being too complicated, hard to navigate or the basket and checkout can’t be found.
Design Tip: Use call to actions (CTA’s) in appropriate places and make sure they inform the user where they are going.
Not to be confused with navigation hierarchy such as parent & child pages. The hierarchy of elements on a page can really help to guide a user through your webpage to leave them both informed on your services and close to a call to action.
Hierarchy in web design is important to show a customer exactly what you see as the most important information first, leading aspects that may be considered less important. This means using design elements to showcase important information as being both visually larger and also demanding more space on the page.
Design Tip: Structure your webpage with the most important elements demanding the most space. The space doesn’t necessarily have to be filled. Many companies use negative space to both demand attention and attract your eye to a product.
One of the newest ways web designers are adapting to the demand of standing out above competitors is by using methods to make a website seem more personalised to the user. This can be done in many ways and can help to make a user more relaxed and comfortable with a brand.
By storing data using cookies, websites are able to recommend products that have previously been looked at by a customer or that might suit their preferences based on previous purchases. Or more simply, using an AI chatbot can help customers speak to a perceived real person to find exactly what they’re looking for.
In terms of web design though, really knowing your target audience and designing a site that emulates their customer’s identity can really help reinforce brand identity and therefore repeat customers. Many brands have built whole industries off of knowing their target audience through and through. This is no different with web design. For example, if you sell ornate teapots, the likelihood is that a brutalist and harsh web design will not appeal to your target audience as much as a more subtle and smooth design.
Design Tip: Take time exploring user intent on similar websites. It’s worth researching your customer base to ensure that your brand is synonymous with the interests and motivations of your users.
With so many people using their mobile devices to browse and purchase products, it is a priority to make sure that your website is designed to be responsive and work on all sized devices. This can be as simple as not overcrowding or cluttering your website with content as well as making sure that your site loads fast by compressing image sizes to smaller files.
Design Tip: Ensure that your file sizes are kept to a minimum to ensure that they load fast and dont make web pages too ‘heavy’. We make sure to optimise websites for mobile devices by building them to look just as good on desktop as they do on tablets and phones.
Space is a luxury on a webpage, especially for mobile users! This is why it is such an important tool for web designers to utilise. Using space to contrast important aspects of your site can help to emphasise what customers should prioritise looking at first. There are many ways to utilise space in a well designed website from filling white space with colourful graphics to leaving areas completely blank, relaxing the users eyes into your design. A popular method of using space is minimalism.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci. Often companies and website designers exploit empty space to let their products do the talking. From the latest pair of trainers to an exclusive product, leaving the space around it free of noise and clutter really makes it stand out much more. When your product is good there is little need to over explain it to your customer base.
Design Tip: Use negative space to showcase products in a creative and impactful way. This space doesn’t necessarily have to be empty to work but free of distraction and other elements in the vicinity of your ‘hero’ image should only ever compliment it.
Becoming much more of a priority to website designers in recent years, the level of accessibility your website has is becoming much more of a prominent ranking factor with search engines. This is primarily due to the popularity of systems such as Siri & Alexa paving the way for voice-command searches.
Not only does this benefit people with disabilities such as blindness but when someone asks Siri where the nearest coffee shop is to them, it’s important that your cafe website shows up as an option using both clever web design and local SEO to do so.
Design Tip: When we design a website for a client, we factor in local SEO techniques to give you the best chance at showing up for local voice command searches, thereby making your site ready for more accessible users.
Contact Us For More Information On Website Design North Devon
Our team of expert website designers in North Devon have helped thousands of customers reach new potential customers and engage with existing ones in a much more meaningful way using elaborate and well thought out web design. To find out more about our website design and e-commerce web design services, call us on 01271 603085 or contact us.