5 Website Design Essentials to ensure your website does what you need!
To make sure that your website is most effective, and that you end up with something that matches what you are after there are some basic considerations. From preparation through to final launch, make sure you are going to end up with what you need and not having to change things later on.
#1 – Prepare!
Sit down with pencil and paper and make a list of what you want your website to provide. This can include things that you’d like, but don’t know how to achieve – that’s where I can help you.
#2 – Determine what is and what isn’t essential
I’m sure by now you have had a look at your competitors websites to see what their site provides. If the answer is no, then start looking as what they have on their site may well be useful on your site. It may also show up some things that don’t work so well, and you can scratch of your list. You aren’t looking to clone their website ideas, but take a little inspiration that you can improve on.
#3 – What is your message?
When a potential customer arrives on your website, what key message are you trying to show them? Are you promoting a product, a service or perhaps you want to highlight your commitment to customer care. Trying to highlight all three on one page can get messy!
Whatever this message your home page needs to convey this very clearly, and it’s critical that this matches your visitors expectation. For example if a customer arrives looking for a particular product, and is bombarded with messages of how awesome you are they may not find that product!
Supermarkets will always arrange their stores for maximum effect, for example best selling items in the first aisle and then the boring items like food towards the back. Your website should take this philosophy on board, by putting your most important content front of store!
#4 – Think about the colours and layout
This may be easier than you think, and you don’t always have to employ a brand consultant to design your website. Using too many colours at once can be as detrimental as choosing one bad one.
The most simplistic way may be to use the colours from your company logo (assuming it isn’t plain black, or the colours a little too psychedelic). I’ve produced great looking websites which have tied in perfectly with the colour schemes already used by companies.
This way your website can then compliment your company livery, and presents a complete design strategy for your business.
#5 – Keep it simple
Sounds easier than it actually is, but creating an over complicated site packed with features and multiple drop down menus can just confuse and put off visitors. You may have a lot to say, or have a lot of products to sell but it’s key to lay that information out in an uncluttered manner.
If you have a lot of products then perhaps a single page for each is overkill, and you should look at having a catalogue or eCommerce system to show them.
Some of your pages may be general information that you could create a blog post for them. Visitors find these using the search option on your site, or if they subscribe to your blog or social media sites. This information is just the sort of thing you should be pushing out to social sites!
Plan it out on paper, look at what your competitors do, think what your message is and try and keep it simple!