Things to Keep in Mind While Designing a Website
Written by Marianna Martirosyan
29 January 2018
Bringing your business online has never been easier! It’s so common that there are lots of tools you can use online to design all of the necessary elements of your website. A website builder can save you a lot of money if you’re just starting up or need to cut down on marketing costs. However, it’s not worth it if your website is a bust. It should bring in new customers, retain loyal customers, and be like a work of art that you’re proud to have displayed for the world to see!
Keep these factors in mind while designing to help you achieve a great, high-performing website.
Post Your Purpose
It’s not only important for your website to have a purpose. It’s important to declare that purpose. By that, we mean make your purpose obvious on the website itself and post it somewhere for you and your design team to see and remember.
For example, if your website’s purpose is to help a customer find a particular product, don’t hide the product! Post a picture of it somewhere on the front page with an unmistakable link to learn more about it and buy. Make sure all website elements help the customers get where they need to.
It helps to post a mission statement somewhere in the office too. As designers, marketers, and content creators get caught up in their day-to-day website maintenance, they can all keep the singular purpose in mind.
Remember Your Audience
You have a purpose for your company and your website, but what is your target audience’s purpose? Are they looking for a great deal? Do they need better customer service? Are they looking for innovation? Align your purpose and your website with your audience’s needs. The colors, layout, navigation, and content on the website should all speak to your customer base. Only be as spunky, juvenile, old-fashioned, or as sophisticated as your target audience would expect you to be.
Spy on Competitors
Yes, really. Spy. A website is a public thing and researching can only help you. Look up the websites of your competitors and other companies in your field. What are they doing right? What about their website is off-putting? If you can, find out what elements of their website are working to bring in and retain business. And in general, just gather ideas.
Do Something Creative
With that being said, don’t just copy. First of all, there are copyright laws protecting web content. Secondly, copying doesn’t get you noticed. Do something original on your website. Do you have an employee with a flair for writing? Designers who create eye-catching logos? A cool celebrity endorsement? Don’t be afraid to test a risk or two with the website. If it doesn’t work, you can always try something else.
Even though you’re being creative and innovative, don’t get so fancy that the website isn’t user-friendly. This means it has to be intuitive, easy to navigate, easy on the eyes, and include features that a business like yours should have. For example, if you sell products online, you better have an easy shopping cart and check-out system that is secure for users making payments.
Other classic strategies for being user-friendly include plenty of white space throughout the site, easy-to-read fonts, a manageable amount of words and links on any given page, and top-of-page navigational links that are obvious and recognizable.
For example, your staple pages should be called “Home,” “About Us,” “Shopping Cart,” “Services,” etc. Don’t get too cute and call these main pages by different names. Same is true for any other link within the site. If the customers spend too much time clicking around trying to find what they want, you lose them.
You absolutely must have a mobile version of your site, or just a site that is mobile-friendly, at the very least. We don’t have to put together a pie-chart convincing you how many people look for services using their phone, do we?
Be Visually Appealing
Visual appeal is important to a website, but we listed it after user-friendliness for a reason. You never want to sacrifice user-friendliness for visuals. That said, take some time making the website visually appealing. Draw the eye with color. Use inspiring, related pictures. Use big fonts and headings to break up content and engage readers. Think about how the eye starts at the top of page and travels down it. Create spaces for the eye to rest and points of emphasis that the user will focus on. In fact, following some new design trends of 2018 will help you during the creative design process.
Frequently throughout the designing process, get fresh pairs of eyes to look it over and tell you what they like about it or if something was off-putting. They’ll see the things you missed. Just be visually appealing like this Ferrari.
Have a Timeline
When you start designing your website, be reasonable about how much time it’s going to take to create a really good site. Don’t set an absolute end point for the whole site. Say instead, “We need to have our Home page up by the end of the week.”
Consider your website in stages. There are your main navigational pages, there’s the checkout system, and maybe a client forum. Work on each stage at a time, setting milestones as you go. Keep a rigorous timeline to ensure elements are completed and functional.
Keep Designing and Changing
Like we said, never set an absolute end. A website is changeable and adaptable, and that’s a good thing. If something doesn’t work, change it or take it out. If your customer base grows, so can your website’s scope. Listen to your customers and users and change your website accordingly. The beautiful thing about a website is that it can always get better. Even the most successful companies change things about their site from time to time.
And you’re almost there: craft your beautiful website with Ucraft, fast and easy. Our website builder gives you a whole bunch of opportunities to customize your site the way you or your customers would like. So why not give it a try?