Designing for Success; Time to Clean House
It’s Spring which typically means rain, flowers, and Spring cleaning. Web design is complicated on the back end and often left to the real computer geeks, but on the front end, simplicity can really go a long way. While it is good to stand out by offering your unique value proposition, you do not want to detract from that message with a busy, overdone website. As you clean house, we offer some things to keep in mind. And, whether your goal is a call, a sale, an email inquiry, or a Facebook like, you must always keep it in mind throughout each aspect of your website design.
It is important for a design to be attractive, but not at the risk of compromising success. This is important because a busy, overdone website may deter a visitor who really could have used your awesome products and/or services. They were simply too afraid to explore further. Trash it!
Verbiage is important, but with good design you can connect with visuals. Let’s face it; reading is boring! Yes, you must have solid content to satisfy your visitors and the search engines, but is that what will get someone to take notice; love at first content? We think not! Connect with your web traffic using tastefully done visuals placed strategically throughout your site (avoiding tacky images that blink, rotate, flash, etc.). It’s time to do some housekeeping if you have too many poor quality images floating around.
If you want a visitor to make a purchase right now, use design to guide them to the right place (quickly and easily). The fewer clicks, the better. Not many people have the time or patience to dig for what they need so keep the path from shopping cart to checkout very short and well marked. Organizational (and intuitive) bliss.
If you want a visitor to see your experience, use design to show them examples of your work. People are visual and want to see what you’ve got! Whether you are in the restaurant business, sporting goods, proposal writing, or bee keeping, find a way to show it off! Besides, you are proud of your work so why wouldn’t you show it off? Picture perfect.
Users can get overwhelmed by too much (text or images). Do not overwhelm! This leads to lost opportunities. Relay your message using simple content (avoid too much industry jargon, for example) and a few, well placed images. If your pages are overcluttered, visitors will have a harder time finding the purchase/contact buttons! We recommend balance; feng shui if you will.
Stick with usability 101, dark text on light backgrounds is easier to read. We know; it’s fun to change things up. But this is not the place to do it. Don’t forget, you’re building for every type of personal computing device which means a variety of screen sizes. Clean and simple.
We encourage you to think of some of your favorite sites; what problem are they solving for you and what problem do you solve for your customers? Notice their approach and think about what attracts you and why you are willing to do business there. And, if you are not a do-it-yourselfer, there is the option to outsource but make sure you do your homework!