Hey! I’m Marissa, a freelance web designer and digital marketer. I love working with clients to take the overwhelm out of getting their business online. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my blog!
Why Websites Are About More Than Flashy Design
A well-designed website can be the ultimate tool to support your business. Good design, however, doesn’t always equate to extravagance!
Your website has a purpose, and very rarely is that purpose simply aesthetic. Of course you want your site to be visually appealing, but going overboard on ostentatious details and graphics can do way more harm than good.
The key is to find the balance between form and function, with the latter taking precedence.
Function Comes First
Function, your website’s reason for being (or raison d’être if we’re getting fancy), is what draws people to your page. People seek out sites like yours with a goal in mind. They want a service you offer, a product you sell, a solution to a problem, or information you can provide. But there are many other sites that offer the same thing. With so many options available, why would you delay? Give them what they want first!
Accessibility Is Essential
Think about design in terms of utility. Following conventional paths and patterns may sound boring, but when it comes to websites, user experience should be easy and straightforward. No one will stay on a site they can’t navigate. Too much choice might distract your audience, while a convoluted site structure might confuse them. The steps they take to reach their goal should be accessible. That is, a homepage should work like a homepage, and any navigation bar, drop down menu, or footer should feel effortless to operate. If innovation can be integrated into the function of a site, fantastic! But it needs to have a purpose.
Excessive buttons, links, and pop-ups are another issue. While some pop-ups are necessary and sometimes even appreciated (50% off just for signing up? Yes please!), they can also be obnoxious. Unless your audience is fully invested in reading your newsletter or making a purchase, forcing them to view pop-ups can deter a potential reader or customer.
It is extremely important to use restraint when including extras of this nature. The same can be said of links. While your audience should be able to reach every page of your site easily, a hundred different links scattering your homepage looks messy and unprofessional, while an overkill of sub-topics in a drop down menu is confusing. The key word here is streamline!
Restrain The Razzle-Dazzle
Likewise, too much flair can be a detriment. A website of full of flashy colours and graphics may discourage customers, clients, or readers from staying on your site. You want your audience to land, not bounce! A high-bounce rate shows that people aren’t sticking around. While this could be for various reasons, a web design faux-pas could be the culprit! For one, a multicoloured homepage can prove difficult for some to read.
This is where the value of knowing your audience becomes evident. Vibrant colours may draw in a younger market, but if it’s difficult to read, an older audience may skip the site altogether. As an additional point, consider the inclusion of moving visual carefully. Videos can add interest to a homepage and improve you SEO, but a slow- loading clip does nothing for you or your audience. Do your due diligence and research the best platforms before adding a video so it doesn’t leave your audience waiting.
Analyse Your Audience
All that being said, well-designed doesn’t necessarily mean minimalistic. Eye-catching design can be beneficial depending on the kind of products, services, and ideas your website provides. Bold colours, vivid imagery, movement, and animation may be exactly what your website needs.
Again, this is where knowing your audience is integral. What will make the biggest impact? A stark, white homepage might be the exact opposite of the message you want to send. Research your desired market; learn their interests, their concerns, their wants and needs. Really understand who you are catering towards so you can design site to suit them. As long as design doesn’t takes precedence over utility and it helps you reach your goal, go wild!
Authenticity Is Inspiring
If I could offer any piece of advice, it would be this: Don’t design simply for the sake of design. It’s essential that you stay true to who you are. Flash and flair can be fun, and even useful, but if it’s just for the sake of show, it isn’t a good representation of what you can offer. Keep your design genuine and relevant to you and your audience, and you’ll be golden!
If you need help getting the perfect balance of flair and functionality on your website, get in touch with me to have a chat about how I can help you.