Whenever discussing what goes into effective web design, a number of prevailing and common trends are relevant when deciding between a simple or complex web design. Some of these are:
- Keep your website inline with your brand, including:
- Logo use
- Break your content up to keep it easily digestible to the reader.
- Keep your CTAs (Call To Actions) clear and enticing.
- Keep your backend code cleaned up.
- Use basic SEO principles.
These elements are common across, hopefully, most websites on the internet today. If yours isn’t one of them, you have a serious problem! We speak with new website clients all the time about their current website, including what’s right with it, what can be improved, and what is going wrong.
What clients tend to overlook is that your website is the virtual front door of your business. If you keep your storefront, corporate office, and other streams of communication regarding your business clean, why not your website? Another crucial element to effective web design is the distinction between simplistic and complex web design and determining which direction is right for you, your business, and communicating your value to your target market.
Simple Web Design and Your Business
-Be Concise with Your Messaging and Content
The main misconception that people have with websites is “The more content the better.” The direction I try to steer clients in is to change their outlook on the type of content that goes into their website design. While a lot of content helps in describing the various things you do, you should actually be trying to be concise in your descriptions and let your business representatives or salespeople discuss the nitty gritty details about the various aspects of your business. After all, people do business with those who provide value.
-Keep Your Page Count in Mind
We write our proposals with a max of 10 pages for a reason. This goes back to being concise with your messaging and the type of content on your website. Ask yourself this, “Why would I have multiple paragraphs of rather unengaging text when I could be communicating my value in the form of a video?” (Google loves this, by the way. It’s also sort of Michigan Creative’s bread-and-butter.) A video helps achieve multiple things on your website. You can share it across social media channels, cut down on textual content, and it helps with SEO. The bare essentials of any typically recommended website navigation are as follows: the Home page, About Us, Staff/Key Team Members, Service/Products, and Connect. Based on your business and the industry you operate in, page count and types of pages are flexible.
Complex Web Design and When to Know Your Limits
When discussing and determining the message and user experience a client wants to convey to their customers, it’s best to make sure that both parties–client and agency–have a good understanding of how various aspects of the website will interact with one another.
This process could involve a number of various planning stages. One of the simple steps in the process is to wireframe out parts of the website to ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the website design to follow. Here are five key elements of wireframing and why they’re integral to website design. Tone has a great article which touches on various parts of the process.
- Develop the Layout and Structure
- This helps the developer understand the functionality and basic layout for each page.
- Create an Informational Hierarchy
- This step scraps the aesthetic elements of the website and helps determine the main goal of a site visit and what the client wants the customer to do when they land on it.
- Focus on User Experience
- It’s all well and good if a website looks good post-design, but how does it function? Has the buyer’s journey been mapped out before the design process began? Never ignore this step!
- Clarify Features
- If you have seen something cool on a competitor’s website, does it make sense to be on yours? Look outside your industry to discover features that no one else is doing in your space. Be sure to talk to a professional web design agency so they can consult you on best practices and what makes sense.
- Save Time
- If both the client and the web design agency have a mutual understanding on what is expected of the web design, UX, and end goal, then the building of your new and awesome website will be done in no time! This lets the web design team do what they do best: Make steller websites for clients like you!
If you take away one thing from this section regarding complex website design, it would be to not get bogged down in the bells and whistles of a website. Consult with a professional on how to communicate your message in a complex, yet user experience-centric mindset.
By now you might be thinking, “Wow… Maybe I shouldn’t have had my sister’s friend’s cousin build my million dollar business’s website.” Don’t worry because this is right up Michigan Creative’s alley!
At Michigan Creative we live to create! If you have questions regarding this blog or how a new website design and build would benefit your business, give us a call for a free and quick 15-minute consultation about how we can help your company achieve more in 2018!