As a design team, we have the opportunity to see a lot of websites from people who are asking us to revamp their site or because we’re continually seeking to see what is the latest and greatest. However, we’re always curious to understand what doesn’t work because you can only know what makes an excellent website design by also understanding what doesn’t.
The funny thing about websites is that you don’t have to be a designer to understand what works and what doesn’t. Frequently, people can see something, and they know deep down whether they like it or not, even if they don’t understand in their minds what it is that seems to be objectionable.
There are a few reasons why small businesses end up with websites they don’t particularly like, and worse, that their customers and potential clients find dated, too dense or not cohesive.
- There’s no alignment between copy and visual images.
- Candidly, a site is boring. Pictures that don’t look compelling or the copy is flat.
- A lot is going on, but none of it is providing much information and seems to be all over the place. People see your website and still are not clear about what your value is in your business, and more importantly, to them in filling their need.
Design doesn’t have to be difficult when you partner with a good design team
There are a few simple things you can keep in mind when you’re looking to get a design group to update your site.
- Remember Hick’s Law: Keep it simple. From a design perspective, if your site is full of options and dense explanations that will tune out your end-users, you are throwing good money down the drain. You want to make sure everything on your website is simple. Limit the functionality and information you provide to what is essential to your end-user. Remember, it’s about them. And, keep Hick’s Law in mind, which is that if you provide people with too many choices, they will take longer to make a decision.
- Keep Your Design Simple: When you’re designing a new website, keep the design simple. Make sure the menu bar makes sense and is as easy as possible to navigate. Make certain that most or all of your pages have a clear call to action button. Even with design technology that can prompt pop-ups, which you think would be a great idea, think about how long someone will wait and what pages your users will have to navigate before pop-ups appear. We’ve seen pop-ups that have started on websites immediately upon a user landing on the page and then it’s been made trying to get out of it, only for another pop-up to take its place. That’s a big mistake.
- It’s Easier to Scroll: Most websites are now viewed on mobile devices, which means people are navigating with their thumbs, many times, as they’re walking or doing something else, such as having their lunch. Scrolling is infinitely easier than tapping and clicking into something, especially from a mobile device on the go. So, when you’re designing, make it easy for end-users to quickly scroll to information and only when they want to take action, should clicking be used.
- Images with People: It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, remember that you’re selling to humans. Humans like to see other people using what you’re offering. It is why cars are always sold with someone driving them on the open road. Advertisers want people to get the feeling that they’re the ones driving it. In your images, use people as often as you can, especially using your products or enjoying your services. However, what you want to avoid is being “salesy” about it.
- Leverage Social Proof: People want to belong, and social proof helps them belong to something that others have enjoyed. When you’re using endorsements on your site, customer reviews, or demos these are forms of social proof. They help indicate for prospective customers that your company and its products are worth a look. One of the most significant ways you can leverage social proof in the digital age is to use social media, of course. Having satisfied customers or brand ambassadors speak about why you’re the best at what you do goes a long way toward demonstrating that clients should look to your company for what they need.
Finally, remember that in today’s world, a lot is going on and businesses that have created the best designs are those that understand they have to keep things simple, compelling and easy for their clients and customer leads.
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