Web design is art, and there are many tools coders can borrow from graphic artists, architects and painters. However, there is a lot that can complicate this process. Below are a list of the most important steps for creating a new and custom website design that will improve your digital presence and business.
Follow These 5 Laws for Your Next Web Design Project!
1. Know Your Audience
The first step to any digital marketing strategy is knowing your target audience, especially for web design. It’s crucial to create a site that will stand out and appeal to your ideal customer (also known as the “buyer persona”). A great website design will highlight your skills as a business, practice or organization and clearly illustrate your mission to your clients and customers.
Design a new website with the viewer in mind. Creating too complex or too simple of a site will leave a negative impression, and too much or too little information isn’t helpful. It’s imperative to find the line between what you want to say and what your customer wants to read.
2. Understand the Visual Hierarchy
The Visual Hierarchy is a way for website designers to create pages that are arranged specifically for the customer’s eye. The Law of Visual Hierarchy states that each section, image or group of text should be designed in such a way that the importance of each object is measured by size. For a great example, take a look at the image below. It’s a screenshot from Target’s homepage. Can you see what they did?
Before the summer ended, the retailer catered to college students and parents looking for home and dorm essentials (Remember Law #1?).
The first thing you’ll notice is a comfy bed with a ‘Dream On’ pillow. Target picked a big image that stands out and aligns with their marketing message and goals.
Next the eye wanders toward the ‘On to smart places’ banner, which is followed by a bright red ‘up to 25% off.’
The Call to Action button rests under those lines, instructing customers to ‘shop now.’
You’ll also see two smaller images to the right of the bed with products that complement household items and the ideal Target shopper.
And finally up top, Target lists (simply) the tools and menu you’ll need to make your purchases online. These are much smaller, but because they are on every page, they are less important.
Again, each section is sized just right to relay a specific message to new visitors and customers.
3. Follow Hick’s Law
Hick’s Law is a theory developed by William Hick that describes how long it takes a person to make a decision with a fixed number of options. To put it in perspective, think of a weekly trip to the supermarket. Most enter with a list or at least an idea of what they need. If they don’t, they’ll forget and feel overwhelmed by the number of options. For web design, the same concept holds true.
Remember KISS? No, not the band, but Keep It Simple Stupid! You don’t want to bombard visitors and customers with information they can’t handle. Instead, show them in a simple and logical way. Before designing your website, have a strategy in mind of what information you want to display. Each link, menu and image should serve a specific purpose. And too much or too little on your website will take the power away from your customer. An easy-to-use website should guide them on their way to purchase.
4. Gear Toward SEO
After developing the nuts and bolts of your website, you must understand how to use search engine optimization to bring users there. What’s the point of a party if no one comes?
SEO keywords are your invites. It’s important for your website to adhere to SEO standards so that people can find you through search engines like Google. Some Search Engine Optimization tips include writing compelling content, keyword research (head and long tail keywords) and understanding your business inside and out.
Plan an SEO strategy with the searcher in mind before writing any content. Who are they? What are they looking for? How can you help them?
It’s important to design an SEO digital strategy or you’ll be left in the dust by competitors.
5. The Two I’s: Inform & Intrigue
The final law of web design is writing the content. Generally, there are two rules you should keep in mind when adding the final touches to your website.
Your website should first and foremost inform your audience. There should be useful information, links and contact information strategically placed throughout your site so that your customers have a general idea of what to do. Providing simple instructions for your visitors to educate them about your business will help you in the long run. Without the Inform aspect of your site, there really is no point to it. It’s a core aspect to awesome content and should take priority so that your customers have a reason to come back.
It’s definitely important to inform your audience on your website, but if there’s no flash or flare to your site, there isn’t any reason customers could go to other sites to find the information, product or service they need. Stand out! Write compelling content that will not only inform your audience, but intrigue them with ideas, tips and more.
You should always have a purpose to the content and images you place on your website. Having a company blog that include awesome content will invite your visitors to stay on your site. We talk more about the Intrigue aspect of web design and content marketing in another one of our blog posts. Remember, the point of digital marketing is to be unique and tell your story!
Thank you for reading this article about web design! For more information, check out our blog or contact us today!