Tag Archives: website design

Top 7 Website Design Considerations

wwwMost business owners recognize the need for a website, only to not know where to turn for website design or, more so, what elements good websites have. Here are the top 7 issues we see in both website design and usability:

  • Unfortunately, we do judge books by their covers. Back when you were around 5 years old or so, you learned to read. And the format you followed was very simple: top-to-bottom and left-to-right. So, what do you think is the most looked at section on your website? That’s right, it’s the top left-hand corner. And we didn’t even need an expensive eye-tracking survey to prove it! What does your hot corner look like? Do I know what you do from the imagery or logo? Or are you leaving it up to me to figure it out?
  • Don’t make me think. When your first visitors show up, do they have to think about what you do, or where you are or how to contact your business? If this is the case, they’re probably hitting the back-button very fast. Don’t get funky with your page navigation – do what everyone else does: buttons down either the right or left side, or across the top (or some combination of these). And keep the navigation simple – let each button expand if there are multiple pages below it.
  • If you sell something, tell me what to do. It’s not only critical to include your phone number on all pages, but you’ve got to tell me what to do, and why I should do it. For example, if you’re an attorney, and you offer a consultation, telling me to “Call now for a free consultation” makes me want to call and get it.
  • Above the fold first. Back in the day, advertisements were sold based not only on the page, but where they were physically on the page. The best spots were “above the fold” – those sections you’d see if the newspaper were folded in half. Today, that “fold” line is the bottom of your browser screen. Think to your website – what do I see before I have to scroll down? Place your most important information, your call-to-action and your phone number very prominently above the fold for maximum impact.
  • There is a line between just enough and too much content. In today’s attention deficit society, too much content on any one page causes our minds to wander. Gone are the days when paragraph after paragraph of right and left justified text ruled. Today, content that works is like a news story – most important information first and lots of bullet points. If you have long content pages, break them up into easier to digest chunks.
  • Credibility and personality. When we come to your website, we need to quickly come to a conclusion that you’re a) legitimate and b) have a personality. Logos from business associations, awards, pictures with local flair, landmarks listed on your Maps & Directions page, etc. all help us understand who you are and what’s important.
  • Polished and waxed. Works just as well for websites as it does expensive sports cars. You can always tell how much the business owner cares by how well polished the website looks. Content that’s easy to read, words spelled correctly, colors and schemes that resonate with your business, images that match your clientele, etc.

No website is perfect, but if you follow these guidelines, you’ll likely see better results, more leads and happier customers.

Photo credit by elessar_x.

The Importance of Graphic Design When It Comes to Your Website

When you are designing a website, you are going to realize early on that you can toss the words out the window. You cannot minimize the importance of quality content, as it is the reason people will get into the materials of your website, but you have to start with the graphics. Quality graphic design will make your website stand out from the get-go, allowing visitors to sink into the content. When putting together a website, remember that the following things can all be achieved through graphic design.

State your case
You can either tell visitors what you are up to as a company or as an individual; the other option is to show them. Even in fiction writing, the idea is to show the reader through words. With websites, you have the advantage of using graphics to show viewers just where you are coming from and where you would like to take them. It’s the ideal way to state a case for yourself. Nothing says cutting edge like contemporary art on your header; nothing says classical and literate like a quote from a writer across an image of ancient Greece. You make the call.

Cement your brand
When you are deciding on the type of graphic design you would like to have on your website, you are actually deciding what your brand will be. Choose carefully, as it can be difficult to change the impression you have given off later on in the future. Most experts in the field will recommend holding off on a website launch until you have the exact image you want to project in place. You can ‘go live’ and backtrack later, but it is far better to start strong and plow on full steam ahead. With the latter option, you never have to worry that you have jumped the gun.

Entertain and intrigue
When you get visitors to a website, you never know exactly how they arrived there. They might have simply been curious about something you are offering; they could be competitors checking on your style; or the whole thing could have been an accidental click or two. For this reason, you want to keep an open mind about the type of people you are serving. On the one hand, you want to cater to a clientele. On the other hand, you want to entertain and intrigue whoever has arrived, as you can’t tell where it will lead. Make sure your graphic design is up for the challenge.

Send subliminal messages
You don’t have to be a rock band from the 1970’s to send subliminal messages to an audience. In fact, every bit of advertising does it on one level or another. Let your graphic design do a bit more than wow the audience; let it speak to them when they have moved on and are far removed from a computer. Your message can have a lasting impact. How long that impact lasts will depend on the graphic design you have in place on your website.

About the Author
This article was written by Mona Pennypacker of Acorn Creative Studio who specializes in web site design in Colorado.