Website design is all about the aesthetics and efficiency. In today’s market, an online presence is an essential part of being competitive. It is not enough to have a website, your website needs to be innovative and never behind the market competition. It is key to remember that with any website design the outcome will contribute to your branding and influence how people will perceive you and your work, which is why it is extremely important to get it right first time.
A website must firstly be clear. You want your website to clearly communicate who, what, when, why and how.
Picking out a colour palette for your website is important; this will heavily influence the way people perceive your brand. There are many sites out there, which can help you with selecting colour palettes. Adobe Colour CC is a great way for people new to the industry to experiment with colour and understand which tones, tints, hues and shades have flowing relationships together.
Does it work?
It is all good having a pretty website, but unless it can actually do what you designed it for, what is the point of having one. Having a website that does not function fluently can do a lot of damage, affecting how people perceive the service or product you offer. A poorly run website will make users irritated and impatient; if that is the last emotion, they feel when on your website, it is most likely going to be the one that they remember and will associate with your business. So, before you make a website live, trial run it, send it to family and friends to make sure all the links work and that the website runs quickly.
Pixilated images not only look unprofessional and messy but it can make you website look cheap and unfinished. In addition, when you are selling yourself as a brand online, the importance of a professional and finished look is key. An easy way you can check and edit picture quality and resolutions is by using programmes such as Adobe Photoshop.
Easy to use
A complicated website will put people off visiting. In this new age where E-Commerce is an extremely popular and growing trend, you want your website to be easy to understand and navigate around.
When selecting a typeface, it is good to preview the font on the website page before making it live. This is because some thin fonts distort when they are on a website page. A good way to experiment with typefaces is to pick a font, which has a large family. This will mean you can trial variations of your font with the headings and text, playing on how you want people to perceive key information.
Many websites now offer a wider variety of typefaces, which you download or pay for. Do not feel you have to compromise on a font aesthetic. The font you choose for your website will make a big first impression so take the time to explore your options and get it right.
Make sure the font you choose is large enough to read on a website and mobile and tablet. People should not have to zoom in extensively to a page to read a word.
Less is more, try to make sure you balance the text to image ratio. Do not put too much information on one page. Too many pictures and not enough text can make your viewers confused about the content and unsure about what you are trying to communicate, but, too much text and not enough imagery can make your uses feel bored and overwhelmed, not sure where to look and therefore more likely to switch off and not read the content.
Many website designing software packages offer recommended templates. However, these are quite generic and not personalised or tailored to your company. At Astounding Interiors, we ensure we tailor every design aspect we can to the branding of your company.
Think about what is relevant. What do you need to include to successfully communicate what you are trying to offer? In general, a website normally includes a home page, an about page and a contact page. On top of this, you can consider additional pages like a product library, a blog, a portfolio, a competitions page, social hubs page, search bars, jobs, languages, news, and intro to the website page and a gallery etc.
Why you should have about us and contact information pages
The about you page is a great way to connect with your audience; it makes you appear more human and less like a computer. It gives them a way to put a face to the brand and relate to you.
Similarly, the contact information page is a great way to give people viewing your website a chance to connect with you and give feedback/inquire about what your website offers.
Importance of a web presence
As previously mentioned, in today’s competitive marketplace, you are either perfect or you are left behind. With traffic shifting towards mobile phone use, one cannot afford to have an online presence without a strong mobile interface.
Cater to your user
Different target audiences will have different interests and demands. Where older generations want something clear, simple and easy to read with a large font, the younger generations want something visually engaging and hip. Do your market research and understand what the demands of your target audience are. It is not about what you like; it is about what the target market likes.
Communicate information clearly and succinctly
To keep it short, do not ramble. People will switch off and lose interest. Try to keep your information to the point, upbeat and clear.
Grid based layouts
There is a wide range of grid-based layouts you can draw inspiration from when planning your page content format. The use of a successful grid-inspired layout can make sure your website instantly more visually engaging. Common principles you may have come across in design is the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. Both these grids are widely used across many areas of art and design.
A slow website will put people off coming back and visiting again, as they will not want to wait. This in turn will affect your presence on the search engines, and can heavily affect the success of your marketing strategies. An easy way to shorten the website loading time is to compress the size of the files on the webpage.
With people on their phones so frequently now, having a website that is mobile friendly has never been more important.
What is on trend?
Websites, like any other design industry need to be on trend. They require constant research, updates and maintenance. An easy way to get an idea of what is trending is to look at your competitors and other large well-known industry brands, to see what they are doing. Exploring the market will help you understand what everyone else is doing and will also help you to better understand what you need to communicate with your website in order to stay current.
Remember, it is quality, not quantity.