9 Things a Good Website Should Reflect
Thursday 25 August 2011 | Keith J. Hamilton3 Comments
Today, nearly every business has an online portfolio that allows them to benefit from the online marketing platform. Having a successful online presence can help a business gain mass exposure, monetary benefits, increased sales and a huge customer database, both local and international.
However, all these benefits come with a condition: the website should be designed exceptionally well and should relate to the customers. If a visitor cannot relate to the website, he will waste no time in leaving. Even employing the best of internet marketing strategies won’t work if the website design is bad.
So, what is it that makes an “exceptional” website design? What factors will make customers go “wow” regarding a site?
The first step for any successful website is being able to clearly express its purpose. What is your client’s business type? What are his or her products and services? Every business industry has its own unique features and employs different forms of marketing strategies. Make sure you understand your client’s business properly before you start creating the website design draft. Read the design brief carefully, ask questions, observe your client’s competition and then start designing an original concept.
2. Create an Appropriate Theme
Depending on the type of website, you need to have an appropriate theme which includes the kind of layout, background, color scheme and the graphical images that you want to utilize for the website design. However, you need to be very careful when creating a theme. Using the wrong theme could lead customers to poke fun at your “creative sense.” For example: Using a dull, boring theme for a restaurant website design is a recipe for disaster. The theme should be colorful and reflect the culinary exoticism of the restaurant or create a decent more sophisticated look if the restaurant is chic.
3. Simple Homepage
Some designers tend to crowd the homepage with numerous links and tabs. Although it is essential for the home page to have important links, it is not a good practice to crowd it with flashy images along with multiple ads, links and information. This will confuse the visitors and they will have a hard time trying to figure out where to go next. Don’t overdo the homepage, keep it purposeful and simple.
4. Provide Easy Navigation
Customers should be able to navigate through the site content easily. Avoid clustering and embedding pages. This will cause visitor frustration and they will leave your client’s site. Make sure the main navigation on the website is universal, has placement consistency and most importantly, makes sense.
5. Professional Look
Want the website design to look professional? Then avoid glitzy color schemes and flashy content. Also avoid picking images off of Google! Create an original graphical image or buy copyrighted images for the sake of authenticity and don’t forget to add the logo design of your client’s company. A good website designer uses color schemes sensibly, keeping in mind the target audience.
6. Legal Verification
This is extremely important for online shopping sites. Visitors will only buy from the site IF they see legal verifications and stamps. You need to add a logo or a proof that validates the authenticity of the site. The Accredited Business Bureau is the mostly used standard for e-commerce websites. Ask your client to provide you with this information before sending in the final website design.
7. Interactive Platform
The website should have an interactive platform where users can post comments and interact with the site owner. The designer can suggest the client to allow the implementation of anti-spam plug-ins to avoid spam comments.
8. No Unnecessary Registration
Visitors hate it when they go to a page and have to face an annoying survey forms or a pop ups asking for registration. This infuriates customers and will drive the traffic away from the website instead of keeping them on the site. It is ok to ask for registration but adding a simple form on the main page or providing visible links to the Contact page is a much better option. Forcing the visitors to do something will drive them away. As a designer you should know this and if your client asks you to add pop ups and annoying forms, you can reason with them and tell them how it will be bad for their business. Most clients would understand, after all, no one wants to drive business away.
9. Add Testimonials & Portfolios
To trust any company’s services, customers sometimes require proof. This can be in the form of client testimonials, product reviews by professionals or a portfolio. Ask your client to provide you with authentic reviews and testimonials that can be added on the site. These will be major contributors to gain user trust.
As a website designer, you have all the power to make an online business a hit! When designing a website try to understand your client’s business and then think from the target audience’s point of view to create a site that is not only attractive, but easy to understand. Get these factors right and you’ll be swamped with eager customers.