Secrets to Good Web Design

We all know a good web design when we see it but what separates a ‘good’ design from an average one? What makes a website convert visitors into actual sales? How should you deliver large volumes of information?

After designing websites for over 14 years, I have seen the industry come full circle. Back in the day, complex websites with enormous amounts of content were simply not possible. As a result web designs were naturally simple and clean.

Now that the possibilities are endless, designers and clients have a tendency to overload their website with every bit of content they can think of. This has in many cases, created busy, messy and visually confusing websites.

Some websites have to be very large and deliver a high volume of content. However large a website is, it still does not have to look cluttered nor be difficult to navigate. With a well designed navigation system and clear page layout, large websites can be easy to use and visually appealing.

With the onset of mobile phone and tablet browsing, website designers are again being forced to be far more concise with their content and strip web designs down to their core elements. Designers are going back to basics and creating clear simple designs which make for a much better experience for the user, regardless of which devise they are using.

I believe this will have a very positive effect on web design.

Everyone would agree that Apple’s website (http://www.apple.com) is one of the best. This is the world’s biggest company yet its home page features only one product at a time. Each page has a visual hierarchy which controls how the user views the content. Copy is very concise and imagery is big and beautiful. This site will work effectively across the multitude of devices it will be viewed on.

In summary:

  • be concise
  • be bold with type and images
  • decide what is the core messages you want to convey
  • keep the navigation as simple and logical as possible
  • think about the first impression you wish to create within the first 5 seconds
  • don’t try and say it all on the home page.

The next revolution in web design will be internet TV. This will have another big impact on web design. However the same principles above apply to which ever form of device a web page is being viewed upon.

How to Choose a Good Web Designer

Choosing a good web designer can be a difficult choice especially if your Self Employed, a good website can bring you more visitors and business or a badly designed website could drive away your potential customers.

So, before you dive in to choosing a web designer here are some important things to think about:-

Types of Web Designers

Although many web designers may have their own strong points, a typical breakdown of tasks within web design are detailed below.

  • Web Designer – Helping you to choose layout, graphics, content locations and the colours of your new site, the navigation is also designed by the web designer and all of the internal linking structure. They may also do the graphics and coding of the site or outsource some of these specialist areas to freelancers. A website designer is basically a Project Manager of the overall design.
  • Web Developer – Taking the site design layout from the designer and coding it to work as a website, they are also responsible for all of the behind the scenes technical stuff and making sure everything works.
  • Graphic Designer – Responsible for all of the graphics of the new website including the page layout and colours etc. This is the person that makes the site look good and crisp.
  • Internet Marketing Consultant – Has the input of how your site will work as an overall marketing strategy, and more importantly how to get more traffic and sales from your website.

Text Content

Your web designer may also arrange to create the content/text for your website or to hire the services of a professional copyrighter which could turn out to be very expensive. Consider a more inexpensive option and get advice from an Internet Marketing Consultant and write the text yourself and then let the Internet Marketer/SEO Consultant edit it to enable it to be found in the search engines.

Who is a good web designer and how much do they charge?

Whether you prefer to work with someone locally or remotely over the telephone/email you will need to have some basic understanding of what you want and what your expectations are, things to take in to account:

  • Take note of how much they take interest in your business. They need to learn about what you do, where you do it and what your goals are. The web designer needs to know your business inside out, how else can they design a website that reflects you and your business.
  • Look at their portfolio, are their design similar or are they bespoke to each type of business.
  • Ask them which parts of the site they will actually be doing or if they will be just doing a certain task and outsourcing the rest.
  • Also ask if they have a planning process that explains the design phases. Or if they have a planning guide that you will both work through together.
  • Ask them if they know about Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and if the site will be optimized for high rankings. A beautiful design is no good if it cannot be found by your potential customers.
  • Ask the designer for and estimated cost for the site you need. They may not be able to give you a price until you discuss content and features of the site. You could expect to pay between £30 – £70 per hour depending on skills and location. A high quality website with excellent graphic design and layout could cost between £1300 and £2000 for a 10 page website. If you need features such as a blog, newsletter, shopping cart, SEO or Logo Design the price would go up.
  • Find out about payment process, do they invoice you when milestones are reached or do they take a deposit upfront and the balance on completion.
  • Take note to see if they kee within your budget or if they suggest add ons and extras that will increase the cost above your budget, the only person in charge of your budget is you!
  • Ask them about website support and maintenance after your site is live and if they have any packages available for regular updates etc

If you are going to be maintaining the site yourself, ask them to design your site so it will be easily to maintain by thw website owner (yourself) They should be able to design your site on a CMS Platform which will allow you to edit the text and images yourself.

  • Make sure you own your domain name, even if your web designer registered it for you.
  • Tell your designer what your deadline is and ask if they can meet it. Many good web designers will be booked up for at least 6 to 8 weeks minimum, so you may need to wait.

Conclusion

Your new website can be crucial to the success of your business. Being thorough at your meeting with your web designer you are likely to get the designer you want and who is willing to listen to you and who can create a website that reflects you and your business and most importantly keeps within your budget and deadlines.

Five Ways a Good Web Designer Helps Your Business Grow

You’ll agree the whole Internet Marketing concept hinges on websites. It is only through your website you deal with your customers, do business and reap profits. Websites are to be designed by professionals in the field, to deliver the purpose well and squarely, for which they are created in the first place. Every Web Designer does their jobs and what differentiates one, as “Good Web Designer” head and shoulders above the rest is what he does, to help your business grow. There are many ways towards this objective, and here are the important five.

1. Creating the all important first impression:

The moment a web visitor lands in your website’s home page, what they perceive by the very first glance of your website is – how it is designed. Impressive and informative websites excel always. The design of the website catches the visitor in split seconds; and holds him or her to stay further, till they finish the objective of visiting your site. There can be differences among professional web designers, as how a website should pose a look with the customer; but a Good Web Designer knows the secret of designing effective, efficient and impressive website for you.

2. Providing exhaustive information to the end-user:

The website designer should be able to visualize the future. While building up the website at the designing stage, the professional should foresee what the ultimate end-user of the site will search for, and provide all the relevant and relative information, explicitly for everyone to see easily. Clarity of information, categorization without confusion and ready availability meets with immense satisfaction of the customer, to lead to successful business transaction at the end.

3. Making a functional website 100%:

This is where importantly an adept web professional can achieve more business for you, looking from the visitor perspective. Right when designing a site, all the presses and buttons in the site should be checked and rechecked untiringly, till they are 100% functional. Multi-browser compatibility, easy opening of web pages, hassle-free navigation throughout the site, and making it child’s play to transact the business at the site – all these put together, ensure 100% success in your business and growing profits continuously.

4. Enabling SEO friendliness a matter of importance:

All said and done, making your website’s online presence known opens up the very avenue, to grow business success. Search Engine Optimization techniques need inevitably “good and technically sound” web designing. A skillful web professional answers all these demands by the Search Engines, to enable your website SEO friendly, to attract sizeable visitor-traffic, and convert them into potential customers, successfully.

5. Keeping the cost affordable:

At the end of the day, you need a resourceful Web Designer, who is “affordable” to entrust your project for web designing. Your business success depends upon cost-consciousness in everything you are spending, as investments.

Thus a Good Web Designer helps your business grow profitably, by adhering to the above principles and other aspects of professionalism for sure.