Ah, the internet – it’s a mixed bag of code strings, cat videos, and designers fighting a war against web design fails. The online world has always been a great place for self-expression, and site builders have made it possible for even the least tech-savvy amongst us to get online…
…only it’s not always for the best. The intensely competitive web design landscape does not look kindly on sites that could easily have come straight out of a kids’ art project, #nofilter, and the wrong design can turn curious neutrality into the urge to avoid.
In case you’re in the habit of pushing your website design to the bottom of your to-do list, here are a few reasons to make it a priority.
Good web design represents your brand
You know what they say – first impressions are everything, and you should think of your visitor’s experience like a first date: if your site is late to pick them up (takes too long to load) and dresses like it’s going to the gym…your chances of taking them out again? Slim to none.
Visitors form an impression of your website in as little as 50 milliseconds, and that first impression shows them that you have pride in your brand.
Nail it: Before you design your website (or go on a date, for that matter), take a moment to consider the impression you want to make. Write a manifesto describing how your design should make visitors feel, and keep that end goal in mind as you go.
Good web design helps you grab attention (and keep it)
Our attention spans just on keep getting shorter (in case it’s been a minute since you last heard).
The whole goldfish myth has been disproven, but the fact remains that we all fall out of focus now and…hey, is that the sound of the ice cream van?
No? Never mind.
Your design has a few important jobs:
- Make your visitor say, “This is the most amazing website I have ever seen.”
- KEEP your visitor on the site.
- Guide them through your website in such a way that they ultimately decide to hand over their money/sign up for your course/[insert favourable action here].
All of this results in a great online experience for your visitors, which is, in this scenario, your most important deliverable.
Nail it: Inspect your competitors’ website designs. Make a note of what they are doing well (and not so well). Then create a plan that exploits those weaknesses by doing those things BETTER.
Accessibility is key
There are a few obvious benefits to creating an accessible site. You’ll get more eyes across your pages, receive fewer angry emails about your “too small” font, and most importantly, you’ll be on the right side of the law. That’s right – there are ACTUAL LAWS against owning a website that fails to meet strict accessibility criteria.
Most of the rules are pretty basic, like enabling resizable text, designing accessible forms, and structuring your content with headings, but wait – there’s more. If you want to stay on the right side of the law, you’ll also need to be mindful of lesser-known points like adding alt text to all images and choosing colours with care.
Nail it: Grab an accessibility checklist and conduct a thorough site audit.
Make things easy to find
Looking for things is exhausting, right? Whether you’re hunting down your phone, your keys, or your children, you’ll always wish there was an easier way to make sure things were right where you wanted them to be. Well, the same goes for your website. If your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for before they run out of patience, things won’t work out all that well for your brand.
Want to turn things around and start #winning at the online game? Start with simple yet effective web design principles. Create menus with clear options, include a search bar, and add in a sitemap in case they get lost in the WWWoods.
Nail it: Create an easy-to-navigate site map.
Make YOURSELF easy to find
It’s a question as old as time (or at least as old as the internet): how do I boost my brand in the search engine rankings? If you’ve done any reading into the art of search engine optimisation, you’ll know that there’s a great deal of fancy word science behind that pursuit, but web design is still a major factor.
Google might uninvite you from the First-Page Party if your web design dragging down your site load times – but don’t panic! You don’t have to sacrifice a beautiful design for the promise of more visitors. With the right design expertise and techniques, you can turn your website into a work of art AND a scientific marvel, and nab a few new clients in the process. Even simple steps like reducing your file sizes can help you boost your loading speed and climb up the ranks.
Nail it: Take a loading speed test and make adjustments to the sizes of your images if necessary.
Don’t forget to optimise
Okay, so we’re all caught up on sanitising at the moment, but once your hands are clean, it’s time to jump on the optimisation train. This train has been around the track a few times by now, and if you don’t have your ticket, you’re missing out – big time.
Websites that aren’t optimised for mobile are the participation award of the online world. You might have a great design, but if different sized screens turn your site into a carnival mirror distortion, you aren’t doing your SEO ranking any favours.
Nail it: Check how your site is showing up on a mobile screen, and if things are looking a little off-kilter, get your optimisation sorted, ASAP.
So there you have it: six solid reasons to invest in web design that’s just as bright, colourful, and FABULOUS as your brand.
P.S. If you’re looking for someone who can help with that, you’ve found us! Click here to get us on your team, pronto.
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