When people ask me to describe the importance of web design – I often compare it to the front cover of a book. As with a book – you often judge the content inside on the front cover – whether you consciously intend to or not. The same applies to web design – whether someone intends to or not – they’ve already made judgment on your website without reading a single thing – and it’s because of your web design.
I don’t think I need to say anymore in terms of explaining the importance of good web design – but I’ll elaborate further just in case. Say your website design is messy and dull – these two traits are now the first two traits someone has associated with your brand and with your product. You definitely don’t want this – as the likelihood is, they’ll probably close down the tab with your website on – and move onto a better designed website. Who might be one of your competitors?
So what is your web design saying about you? Well keep reading to find out:
Colour is something that has always been one of our main ways of visually communicating. Everyone has predetermined sense towards colours, and we all associate different colours with different emotions, industries and concepts – whether we consciously realise it or not. The mistake many people make – is by branding their web design in the wrong colour. After all – if your colour choice confuses people – then they won’t stick around to figure things out. Either that – or they’ll assume you’re not professional enough or knowledgeable enough to choose a fitting colour. Below are some examples of colours choices and what they’re usually interpreted as:
Blue – A colour usually used by corporate brands such as banks and lawyers. Also often used by jewelers. Could also be tied into travel brands because of the colour of the ocean.
Green – Often used by nature brands and eco brands – but also used to represent money (especially in the USA).
Red – Represents danger in many cultures (such as debt) but also passion and romance.
Pink – Used for a romantic and feminine effect. Could also be used for motherhood brands and children brands.
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Yellow – A cheerful colour that is often used for children brands or holiday companies because of its affiliation with the sunshine.
Consider the layout you’ve embraced in your web design too. Are you using a simple, modern layout or a blog-style magazine template? These things communicate very different ideals to your visitor – for example – if it’s obvious that you are selling a product, you stand more chance of actually selling it. And you may want to ensure your design is pointing new visitors in that direction.
If your product isn’t featured on your homepage how is a first time visitor going to know it even exists? If your blog is a personal website and is all about you – make sure this is evident too – choose a layout that lets you show multiple posts and photos – like a scrapbook perhaps.
Do you have any photographs in your web design? If so – think about the kind of photographs you’re using and what that says about your business. Whilst stock photographs are extremely easy to access and very affordable now – stock photographs usually give off an air of corporate – or professionalism. Which is great if that’s what you’re after! However if you’re cultivating a more personal website, or quirky brand – using stock photos may not be the right way of visually communicating with you customer. Try instead hiring a freelance photographer or graphic designer to create some original images for you.
This is one of the most important design features – that I find many people forget about. This tip I think is hugely important for eCommerce websites and online shops – because when people are parting with money they like to know your website is safe and that you’re real, secure and legit. Because of this – any web design should include your professional contacts (which means the logos of the payments you accept, any verified certifications you have) and all that important stuff that will put someone at ease. Without this information – you’re not saying anything negative – but you are taking a gamble.
The fact is – if you’re a responsible eCommerce dealer you will have this on there. For agencies and people offering services – you should perhaps include your past clients and customers within your design instead.
Mobile Optimize your site
If you know that your site is often viewed on mobile devices (which could be a phone or a tablet) then you need to optimizing your website’s design for mobile use too. Many WordPress themes now have mobile version and web-versions that come inclusive – so that may be an easy way to get this sorted by simply updating your theme.
The key to changing your design for mobile use is to keep things much more simple for the mobile device – try to keep the images small and keep the layout easy to explore. After all – exploring a website on your phone or tablet is a completely different experience. If you don’t use a theme for your blog – then just ask your designer to help you out – most find designing for mobile easier!