Web design is the strategic offering brought together by data, insights, cultural behaviours, brand and a creative vision to connect the brand to the consumer.
Picture yourself looking for the perfect Melbourne coffee or that dog-friendly bar in Sydney. You type it in Google, scan the first page results and click on several links. You won’t bother with the second page. On that website, immediately the aesthetics impress you and your interest is piqued, so you decide to stay. You look for what you’re after, and instantly locate the information. You read through the content and it gives you exactly the information you’re seeking, so you decide to act, and conveniently without even looking for it, the link is right there for you to make contact.
Every touch point in this scenario is a result of a well thought out plan driven by a deep understanding of the specific user, the way they navigate a site, the type of information that would appeal to them, the way to maintain their attention, the tone to speak to them and ultimately the hook to compel them into action.
When web design is done right, it makes the whole user journey seamless, even before the user has reached the site. It starts from the moment the user types it into Google, triggering the algorithm that will determine the site’s visibility and subsequently the likelihood of the site being found by the user.
Remember how you didn’t bother with second page results? Well, so won’t most users, so brands know they need to work for their first page keep. Not easy.
More Than Just Looking Good
Often, when people think web design, they think it’s simply about making a website look nice. Whilst correct, it’s only one part of a broader vision.
The aesthetics is the visual representation of a brand’s defining qualities. So when the end result is a website that looks “nice”, that is because through an understanding of the brand, cultural behaviours and the user, the visual elements would have considered the platform it lives on, the appeal to the user, the relevancy for the brand, the representation of the personality, the alignment to the messaging, the differentiation to competitors and the balancing of the creative interpretation.
Considering all these factors will not only help brands attract the right people, but it will go on to form a meaningful connection between the consumer and the brand.
It’s About Feeling Good
The structural design of a website is important because it affects whether the user will decide to stay or leave. And if the user leaves immediately due to a poor user experience, that’s not just a lost opportunity, it’s a lost opportunity to competitors and an impact on brand perception.
A good web design comes from putting the consumer as the central focus, where information is tailored for this audience and laid out in a way that matches their navigating habits. A great web design will elevate the user experience and achieve business objectives. This is because a good site will guide users to do what you want them to do without distraction. There is nothing random to it at all. Whatever action you want your consumers to take when they reach your page, then design that is strategy and data-led, you can lead them to that action.
Content, Content, Content
It’s pretty important. One of the reasons is that this is a key component to improve search engine optimisation (SEO). This is where Google (or other search engines) will crawl your site to determine whether it thinks it’s a relevant match to the user search. The more relevant the content is, the better your SEO, ultimately increasing your search placement and thus giving you visibility. Without visibility, then all your other efforts are wasted if users can’t even find you.
Every time you think content, think of it as meaningful dialogue with your consumer aimed at instilling deeper relevance and creating greater value.
Content reflects brand, its purpose and its promise, that is why web design is hinged on the type of content delivered on site, in turn, inspiring the user interface and user experience (UI & UX) design to complement it.
Growing with the Brand
When all the above have been achieved, then it should eventually result in growth. When that happens, the website platform should be robust enough to cater for changes that can support future initiatives such as digital marketing and e-Commerce.
Web design is not just about a nice looking website, it is the strategic digital offering of a brand that results in looking good, feeling good and fostering growth.
If you’re around our Melbourne or Sydney offices and don’t mind us talking your ear off about web design, then feel free to drop in and say hi!