There are two ways to design a website. You could trudge through the storm of attempting to build your own website, trying to figure out what goes where and how to create the look you are going for. Or, you could hire someone to do it for you, through having consultations and working with someone to build your baby. Whether you decide to DIY or have it done, big budget or small, you need to pay attention to these 4 website design considerations.
It’s easy to get caught up in what needs to be shown and done on the website. You want to have this list of products featured, all your services placed prominently, and other information for all to see. But is all of that info necessary? Is the website really about you? Or is it about your target audience?
Don’t fall into the trap of designing your website for you and not the people that really matter—the client.
4 Website Design Considerations
1. User Experience.
Fondly called UX by many, user experience is about what type of experience your customers and perspective clients have on your site. Your website is your online brand ambassador, so you need to make sure it represents you in a good light.
You’ve been to plenty of sites where you just can’t find a thing and left, right? This could be because of clutter, confusing verbage and labeling, or even lack of or too much information. Those websites were thinking about themselves more than their target audience.
When designing a website, it’s all too easy to get caught up in what you want to see on the site and forget about the people actually using your site.
How do you create a better user experience?
- Clean flow and layout. Make sure it’s easy for people to understand and navigate, allowing for the experience to be interactive and simple. No one wants to work hard for your phone number.
- Consider where you want users to look and what info will interest them. Put those in the areas that matter, so there’s easy navigation and flow.
- Reduce the clutter. When you have a bunch of flashing boxes or too much information on the page, it gets confusing on not only what to click on and where to find things, but also who you are and what you do. You need to have it all clean, clear, and concise. Other ways to help reduce clutter:
- A little negative space can go a long way. It makes the eye look at what you want them to without distractions, plus it helps reduce headaches and confusion.
- Using bullet points, different headings, and short paragraphs also helps because people tend to skim more than read.
- Change the wording. Don’t use jargon or complex wording. Use phrases that anyone can understand and don’t make your target audience think to find anything. For example, rather than using “Employment Recruitment,” use “Jobs” or similar simple phrasing.
- Mobile Friendly. No one will stay on your site if it isn’t compatible with their device. We have all been there when a site doesn’t work on your tablet or cell phone and you hate every minute of it. Thus, people will just leave or start Pogo Sticking away, which is the last thing you want. In the modern day world, being mobile friendly should be considered standard, but you should still check.
- Be appealing. Don’t use clashing colors that overwhelm the user to the point that it hurts to even look at your site. It sounds basic, but the difference between two shades of colors can make all the difference. This is where a graphic designer can be your best friend in the website design process.
2. Consider the Personas.
Why are you building this website? To get phone calls or leads? To get brand recognition or to promote your services? Ultimately, the point of a business or organization is to sell a product, service, or idea. To move the needle. The whole point of a website is to communicate who you are and what you can do for clients and prospects. So, why shouldn’t you be building your website for that audience? You change your product for your buyers’ needs, why shouldn’t you do the same for your website?
So, when building a website, know who your personas are. Who are your current customer segments and who do you want to target? Understand how they think and what makes them want to buy. Are they more visual people or are they influenced by statistics? Who are the purchasers? Why do they want your product/service? Are they millennials, which are more tech savvy, or an older generation that wants more personal contact? Basically, when you’re designing your website, keep in mind what will matter to the target audience. Think about how they will find you. How they want to stay connected. What information they want.
Don’t get overwhelmed and start hyperventilating. However, getting to know your target audience is not just imperative for your website, but also your company, so it’s never a waste of time to develop personas on your own or through a marketing company. Just knowing all this will help you get into the mind of your target audience to get higher conversions, as well as often leads to greater customer relationships and business practice.
Once you know your personas, you can apply what you know to your website. This can dictate what type of content and info are on there that your users are looking for, what syntax to use (Example: a more formal or casual tone/wording), and even the type of engagement. This can tell you what to focus on. Do you need more forms and content on your site? Need a high social media presence? Or just the “typical info” like phone number, email, and address? It’ll even say what needs to go in which areas and frequency of use for the site.
If you get nothing else for this blog, knowing your target audience is the main nugget of info.
3. Easy to Contact.
Never make it difficult for a prospect to contact you. If they can’t get ahold of you, why should they even bother? The point is to sell your idea, product, or service, so sell it. You always make sure your phone number, email, and address are all there; those are the basics.
However, what about the others? What about your social media? You put all that effort and time into those posts and building up an audience, have those linked as well (which even helps SEO a bit).
Other ways for people to contact you are CTAs (Call to Actions). They are a great way to get leads. You can have CTAs be a downloadable checklist or white-paper, a quiz, a free assessment, or even a free product demo. All of these are ways to showcase you and your product while seeming like you are helping the client… because you are. You are offering something that interests and helps them, while still showing that you are a leader in the field or demonstrating what you offer. Which is a main goal, right? Getting a prospect to seek out your info or to have a one-on-one meeting with them that they invited you to – that’s what this is all about. So, don’t waste huge paragraphs of text on something that could just be a CTA and could lead further down the funnel.
4. Delight Them.
If a friend you’ve been expecting comes over with your favorite food, then you’re surprised, but thrilled; making them even more endearing to you, right? Why can’t a company? Make your website have a fun or helpful “wow factor.” This could be interactive product screen shots, a video, or even quirky copy. Let your personality shine. If you have a funky flair or above and beyond customer service, show it with unique ways to tell the audience who you are. A client is more likely to work with someone that makes them happy and comfortable.
Just remember, when you’re designing a website, that it’s not about you and what you want, but what the customer wants and needs. So, keep these considerations in mind when you start the perilous journey of website building, or come talk to us and we can help get you started.