An eye-catching website design that looks good is great. However, it must do more than look good.
Compare a business website design to the first thirty seconds meeting someone in person. That’s when their initial impression of you is formed. Your website may get even less time unless, as an interface, it communicates function with these elements:
These elements of strategic design will guide you in identifying your goals and use them as guides to meet the business objectives that drive your website design.
Consider these steps to think through a strategically designed website project.
You must clearly define the client’s goals and understand exactly what you are expected to achieve designing or redesigning their website.
Just asking the client what their website goals are may give you enough information. However, it is common for the client to be unable to put into words the company’s objectives.
Spend the time needed discussing the options. Get to know their style and website goals. Then come to an agreement on a clear direction and purpose.
Web designers often struggle to put function above art. You want a visually attractive and well-balanced layout but web design is functional art.
The function of selling products, imparting information, giving access to services, entertainment and more must be fulfilled on your website design or redesign. The goals should be clear to everyone, especially when redesigning.
How your website looks and functions will depend on for whom and what purpose it is being designed. The demographics of the profession, technology, gender, age, common interest and more will influence your choice of aesthetics and usability.
An early learning website for preschoolers will be very different from a forum on aging. Usability for technologically savvy game playing websites will differ from an e-commerce site.
Audience influences other details such as font size and style, use of graphics and even color choices. Be conscientious about identifying with your audience.
Designers love new trends and ideas and it’s easy to get carried away.
Adding flash and sizzle is great for some websites but not all. Your design projects an image; be sure the image represents the brand.
You have taken the right steps and set achievable goals, established demographics of your audience and have a clear vision of the brand image. Now it’s time to sync design strategy with design decisions.
Where to start? Focus on the main objective of creating or recreating the website. This example of the first 3 steps uses “increased registration numbers” as the goal.
These steps will direct your design toward the set goal of increasing sign-ups. This strategy of directing the focus of design elements toward the goal is the same regardless of the goal You want the aesthetics and focus that best suits the brand and audience.
If the brand is entertainment then focus on creating an emotional experience using shape, imagery, and sound.
If the website is meant to inform then make sure it’s easy to use and read. You want to create an interface that doesn’t distract the user from the content.
Everyone may be a potential customer but there is one right audience that stands apart. That audience is the most likely to be influenced by the products or services your website promotes. Focus on attracting that right audience.
Everything about the website including periodic advertising or promotions, product design, overall look, and feel are for one target group of people.
With these you could create a responsive and user friendly website.