Are you in the process of redesigning your website? In this article we share the Top 7 Things to Consider When Designing a website.
Web design involves many elements and when they all come together, they create a well functioned user interface.
These visual/design elements include:
Each of these elements combined create what is known as the “user interface”.
The “user interface” is what the end user sees and navigates around when viewing your website.
An interface not only looks visually appealing but also communicates your brand message, values and goals.
All these website design elements combined deliver a positive user experience when navigating your website.
Designing a website is not only a creative process, but also involves much more than creativity.
For your website project to be a success just applying creativity is not enough.
Creativity is a big part of designing a website, but what’s more important for that creativity to work is a strong plan of how that creativity is going to be implemented.
Here are some factors to consider when designing a website:
Table of Contents
Understanding Your Target Audience
When starting a business this should be at the top of every business owner list.
Understanding your audience is key to understanding why you’re creating a business.
Your target audience refers to a specific group of consumers. They are the ones who will most likely need your products and services.
These consumers are your target audience and the ones you going to be communicating directly to.
In the early stages of starting a business you will need to ask yourself these questions:
- Why am I starting this business? Think of your goals and mission moving forward.
- Who will what to purchase your products and service?
- How will you make them aware of your products and services?
Knowing and understanding your target audience is paramount to the success of your business marketing, and your overall business success.
Ways to Determine Your Target Audience
It’s going to take some time and research to find your target audience.
Be prepared to dedicate time and effort into this stage before doing anything else.
Here are several ways you can determine your target audience:
- Conduct market research into your business industry.
- Analyse competitors.
- Analyse the customer base, ask people questions gain insights.
- Create a customer persona based on research.
- Define who your target market is not.
- Google Analytics (if you already have a website and you’re redesigning).
Professional Brand Identity Design
Before you jump into designing a business website, does your business have a professional brand identity design? that will be incorporated into the web design.
Just like all humans have a personal identity that makes us unique as a person, so does a business and a brand.
Brand identity design sets your business brand apart from the others on the market.
Brand identity design forms the visual appearance of your business, ultimately making it instantly recognisable and memorable to consumers.
The identity design of a brand communicates visually to people engaging with your brand. It sets the tone and communicates things like your company message, mission, beliefs and values.
Not having a professional brand identity design can make or break your business and brand
It’s vital that a business has a professionally designed brand identity. When it comes to designing the business website the entire process will be much smoother.
Defining the Websites Purpose for the Target Audience
It’s one thing to have a website, but it needs to have a purpose with your target audience in mind.
Every little detail from the website design, its navigation, and the content should be driven by the websites purpose that aligns with the end user’s goals.
You have to remember that a website is a sales tool and its purpose will vary from business to business.
For instance, you may be a business that uses its website to attract leads and prospects, but you may not necessarily close the sale online.
An example would be a tradesman such as a Builder, Plumber or landscape Gardner.
In this case the website will act as an online sales tool (sales website/lead generation site). This will allow potential customers to find you online and learn about you and your services.
The end goal being they contact you to arrange a consultation.
A different example would be an ecommerce store that directly sells product or online services. The end-user can then directly purchase on the website.
As we can see here the key distinction from a sales website / lead generation site is the primary purpose of the website is to generate leads, and the eventual sale of products or services happens in person not on the website.
What is Your Brand Image?
When it comes to a new web design project many web designers get excited about the actual design aspect of the website and the latest web design trends they can show off in their latest website design, rather than first considering the image they should be projecting and conveying to the target audience.
Sliding images, layered elements, vibrant gradients and three-dimensional designs are all great design elements that will work for many different websites.
Just because they are in trend does not mean they will work for your website design.
Before you start thinking about design elements it’s a good idea to first plan out how you want visitors to feel when they are viewing your website, and the emotions you would like to evoke.
The aim of the website design is to bring to life the brands personality and character, it should strike a good first impression on your target audience.
Take some time to figure out what that impression should be before jumping into the actual design elements.
Mobile Friendliness of the Website
The importance of a responsive web design is imperative in today’s world of web design.
As technology advances and devices have different size screens having a website that scales to the size of the screen is a must for providing a great user experience.
It’s also vital if you want your website to rank well on google. As part of Google’s algorithm, a website must be responsive to achieve a higher rank in the search results.
Do Your Research
Doing research produces better results and it’s worth investing time into researching your industry, it’s also a great way to gain inspiration for your design direction.
When conducting research view your competitors and see what they are doing.
It’s not about copying it’s about learning what works well and what doesn’t, aim to be different and better than what’s already out there.
Do stop at researching competitors also view website from other industries and your favourite brands.
By doing research you will learn a lot about your competitors and also spark new ideas and an innovative way to showcase your website content.
Be Prepared to Invest Your Time and Effort
Quality takes time!
Just like research takes time before you have got to the design stages of your website, you understand that it’s a vital stage if you really want your website to be a success.
You’re properly familiar with the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and it’s true! good things take time to build, and it’s the same for your website.
If the website design project is going to be a success, you’re going to have invest time and effort into making the website not only look good but also achieve the desired outcomes set forth.
If you’re hiring a web designer make time to hand over your research, prepare any copy and images you would like including.
Unleash Your Creativity – Don’t be Afraid to Break the Rules!
Creativity and design are all about breaking the rule and standing out as being unique from the competition.
Never be afraid to go in a completely different direction from what is already out there as this is what will make you stand out and look unique.
Your website is part of your brand identity design and acts as the face for your business and the brands unique offering of products and services.
The ultimate aim of design is to stand out and communicate in a positive way, so why not aim to be different to what is already out there.
Set Realistic Deadlines and Time Scales
When starting a website design project, it’s best to keep in mind how long the whole project will take from start to finish, so be realistic when setting a realistic time scale and deadline for completion.
You need to consider time for:
- Research & data gathering
- Providing direction for the design and development
- Delivering content
- Overall design and development
When considering each stage in the design and development process you need to think realistically and be fair and flexible to everyone involved in delivering each stage of the web design process.
Ongoing Flexibility – Measure Your Success
When the website design project is complete and the site is live on the internet, don’t be so quick to kick up your feet as the hard work is not over yet!
It’s now time to start measuring the websites performance!
The website is looking great and you’re hoping people will love it, but until you know how well it’s performing, you will never know if it’s effective in fulfilling the goals you have set forth for it to achieve.
- Increasing the number of enquiries for your products and services
- Subscriptions to your newsletter and blog
- Overall traffic increase to your website
- Is your blog content good enough?
Its good practice to keep measuring the website success and see what is happening over time.
At the end of the day, you need to understand if the website is making the impact you are hoping for.
Another great way to measure your website performance is to ask people for their feedback.
People will be happy to tell you want they think, also people like to have a say and know their input is valued.
It’s a good way in checking your heading in the right direction with your website.
But a word of warning, make sure your being mindful to all suggestions and feedback, not all of them will be relevant or even practical for your website.
Keep a note of regular patterns and common user issues and make those a top priority to address.
Monitoring websites analytics is a broad area to go into and beyond the scope of this article, but the main thing is you have an understanding of what you need to do and where you need to start.
It’s also vital that you understand that a website project is no quick and easy process, and there is much more to the process than the visual representation of it.
Aim to have a strong process going into the project and a clear direction, and good communication line with your website designer and other people involved in the project.