5 Important Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Website’s Design

By on February 20, 2015 in Marketing, Websites with 0 Comments

Developing a new website is one of the most complex juggling acts anyone can face. All in the one package, a design needs to look great, be technically sound and most importantly – convert visitors into leads. Seeing each of those things usually requires a different set of expertise, here are the 5 most critical elements in 5 simple questions:

1. What is the action you’re trying to get your visitors to take? Does the design lead them there?

In a well designed website, visitors land on your website and intuitively know the next step they need to take. This is because your design highlights what they need to do with design choices and an effective call-to-aciton. Let’s take a look at an example:

Campaign Monitor website

The campaign monitor website clearly emphasises what they do and the action you need to take to proceed, you’ll notice its not the only action you can take, but creating a free account is clearly the next step forward in turning you into a paid user. This sort of minimalist design wouldn’t work for all business types but it sends an important message about clarity and simplicity.

2. How does the website look on an… everything?

Can you name every device that you can navigate the web from today? How about in three years? The only way to ensure that your website is future proof and provides an awesome user experience across mobile phones, desktops, tablets, tv’s, and devices yet to be invented is with a good responsive design.

Responsive design reshapes the website to suit the dimensions of the device using to view it, meaning the one website can be accessed on a phone or a tv and still provide a great experience for the end user.

3. What does your design say about your brand?

Knowing your position in the market, owning it and communicating well is an important part of marketing. Consider the key strengths of your business and make sure its communicated with your design.

If your brand is one of prestige then ensure the look and feel of your site communicates that, if your products are cheaper than anywhere else then ensure your design reflects that. Consider the Audi website vs Chemist Warehouse.

Audi website

Chemist Warehouse Website

It should also be noted that a professional quality design is always important. If you’re using Word Art to create graphics then maybe you should reconsider and look at a site like fiverr.com (admittedly Fiverr can even produce less than professional results).

4. Does your design detract from your product?

The key to web design is to draw attention to where it needs to be. If you have a product with strong visual appeal, then your design should be subtle enough to not detract attention from your product.

For instance, if you’re a clothing retailer, your products have a very strong visual appeal, so you would have quite a simple design surrounding them so that the surrounds are not competing with your product.  For instance, take a look at The Iconic below…

The Iconic website

On the other hand if you’re selling a service or a product with little visual appeal, then you’re going to need to rely on the design of your site to visually convey the qualities of your service/product. This could be through large lifestyle shots, demonstration photos or a clever surrounding design and subtly gets the message across.

5. Do your visuals replicate the in-store experience as best they can?

When shopping online, the visuals are everything. You can’t pick up the items, inspect them closely, feel them, test them out, so your images need to replicate this experience as close as possible.

You need to provide an array of images and videos that cover all of these bases. This may include:

  • High resolution images of your product
  • Models wearing your product
  • Lifestyle shots showing your product being used
  • Photos showing the result of using your product
  • A video demonstration of your product
  • How-to video’s
  • Interviews with previous customers, etc.

I’m not saying you need to spend a fortune, you can achieve a lot of the above with your iPhone, however, be overly critical of your own work and if its not good enough, keep going until you get it right.

One more mistake people make with their images is forgetting to compress them. If your images are too large it will increase the time it takes for your website to load and will effect your Google ranking. Try an online tool such as Photoshop online tools.

About the Author

About the Author: Luke Hodges is a digital marketing specialist that has experience spanning across large corporates, government, not-for-profits and SME's. He has a passion for applying the digital marketing techniques used in large organisations to small businesses to help them succeed and grow and has consulted for over 200 Australian small businesses. Luke comes from a strong technical background and has developed digital marketing strategies for a number of organisations, giving him a complete understanding of topics such as lead generation, conversion optimisation, web development, email, search and social. .

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