Website design planning tips
Designing a website can, and probably should, be a complex process if it is to succeed. Leaving development and marketing aside, how can we really engage people through design and content? These website design planning tips will give you an idea of how the foundations of the design process of a website come together.
Understand your target audience
You might have wonderful ideas about the design of your website, but are they relevant to your target audience.? You need to take some time to understand the demographic that you have in mind and who you want to attract to the website.
Your website needs to clearly communicate with your audience what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for. Try not to get lost in making it out there how great you are as a business, as you might forget to address the core questions that your audience would be interested in. People are interested in how you can help them, not how long you’ve been in business and how many awards you’ve won.
Do your homework
You probably want your website to be completely different than your competitor’s websites so it will stand out more, but you should be careful how far you go, as weird isn’t usually pretty.
A website that follows standards is more likely to be loved. Using an unusual, or complex, layout and structure in a web design risks putting off visitors as it would take them a while to orientate and instead of taking the desired action you want them to, they may leave your website.
Use colours, shapes and structure that send the right message about what your business or organisation does. You might have favourite design examples that you’ve seen on the internet, but you need to make sure the style is relevant to your main target group, their expectations, abilities, and sector. Let’s say, for example, that you are a charity organisation; in this case, you can look at healthcare websites for inspiration, see what’s relevant and en vogue and try to implement a similar style and feel into your website’s design.
You might be impatient to start with the design, but some planning is required. First, you need to map out the user flow of your potential visitors – they need guidance. To ensure that your visitors will stay on your website, you need to make navigation clear, what pages to go on or what actions to take. The home page is a good starting point and should be as a portal, or gateway, to important other pages of your website.
Visual content can be more effective than text
Have you ever read an article or a full page of a book and realised you have no idea what you’ve just read? Then you find yourself reading in back over and over again. This is called ‘regression’ and usually occurs when what you’re reading isn’t as interesting as what’s going on in your head! Try to keep written content down to a minimum and consider using visuals whenever possible. Consider if your message or key services can be shown in video or good imagery rather than being buried in text. Visual messages are much more engaging than reading text on-screen, messages can be interpreted more quickly.
Important? But how important?
These building blocks to web design haven’t, if you’ve noticed, even mentioned any part of the actual design phase. Anything that is built, houses, cars, aeroplanes, even IKEA furniture, has to have a plan for construction. Websites are no different. Making sure there is a plan will dramatically increase the likelihood of excellent aesthetics, intuitive UX, effective content delivery, and a successful website. These are some of the important elements to consider before you even open Photoshop or Figma or your preferred design software and if you think about them carefully, and in full, you’ll have a better idea of what your trying to achieve well before you put mouse to pixel. If you would like help planning your website project, please do get in touch. We’re happy to chat and our advice is free.
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