Make Your Business Website Stand Out With Web Design
In order for people to find you and reach you, you need to be online. Your company's website design makes up an essential part of your online presence. To build a better website, you must understand the impact your web design has on your business.
Ideally, the right visual designs are more than just pretty; they impact your website’s functionality. In this guide, we’ll review what web design is, explain why high-quality graphic design is so important, and more.
What is Web Design?
Web design refers to the design of a website which is displayed on the internet. It applies to the design elements and user experience aspects of website development, not the functional software development piece.
Web design is in charge of creating the overall look and feel of a website. This is known as UX design. It's how a website looks, not necessarily how it works. Think of color scheme, graphics, fonts, images, and style.
What Makes a Good Website?
This question would probably be answered very differently depending on who you ask. An expert in interaction design may say it should be well-designed and functional. On the other hand, a customer might answer that a good website prioritizes user-friendly search tools and simple, easy-to-read text. Others still may say the site should be optimized for mobile, meaning your web pages must look great and work well on any platform or screen size.
Truthfully, all of these aspects should be considered relative to the customer's journey.
The Principles of Web Design
Digital artists and graphic designers reference the principles of design to outline the visual qualities an ideal composition should have. Implementing these principles to web design can help a website achieve a harmonious look and feel. The basic principles are:
Creating balance means ensuring that none of the elements in a single composition are too overpowering. When creating a new website, designers should take care to arrange the design elements to ensure that the visual weight is equal on both sides.
Not all website elements are equal! What do you want the reader to pay special attention to? It could be your CTA, your special sale, your hero image, or anything else. Think of it this way, if everything is important - nothing is important!
This refers to arranging juxtaposing elements in a way that highlights their differences. This could be elements like dark and light, smooth and rough, or large and small.
This doesn't mean adding animation to your website, although it could if that aligns with your branding. The design concept of movement is what guides your target audience from one element to the next. By controlling the size, direction, and order of elements on the page, a graphic designer is able to direct the movement of the viewer's eye throughout the website.
Repeating the characteristics of your brand in a steady rhythm will strengthen your brand identity and online presence. This could be your logo, brand colors, motto, and using the same font or typeface.
The principle of hierarchy tells us that the most important content should be placed in a prominent spot where your new website visitors immediately see it and can interact with it.
Any area of a composition that’s void of visual elements is referred to as white space in both traditional art as well as graphic design. The conscious arrangement of white space in web design will give the visual elements of a webpage "room to breathe" and allow your visitor the ability to focus. It ensures your website isn't too messy and too overwhelming for visitors.
Tying in strongly with the concept of white space, the goal of unity in web design is to ensure that website visitors do not feel overwhelmed, confused, or turn away from your site. Achieving unity means paying attention to what elements you include, plus where and how you position them.
All of this being said, these are not strict rules to follow. Rather, they are guidelines to learn how one is able to work, design, apply, and achieve the various elements of a website’s design.
Web Design vs Web Development
Have you ever noticed that so many websites either look great or function well, but rarely do both? This is because the makers of the website or the brand are focused too much on either web design or web development, but not marrying the functions and benefits of both user friendly web development and design.
While web design refers to the visual design and experiential aspects of a particular website, the development aspect of the process refers to the building and maintenance of the structure. Website development involves intricate coding language that ensures the website functions properly.
Don't think of this as a "one or the other" type thing. A well-done user interface design goes hand-in-hand with the website being aesthetically pleasing, fast, functional, and bug-free.
The Importance of Website Design
Your website will attract new visitors and convert those people into leads and customers. These new website visitors will judge your business within seconds, fair or not. In these first few seconds, you want to make a positive impact on your audience. An old-looking or clunky website gives the impression that your business is stuck in the past.
Website design trends evolve and change on a regular basis. Digital marketing experts tell us that you need a new website every two to three years. If it has been longer than that for your organization, it's time to make a new website a priority. You're not just looking for a new website, though. You're looking for high-quality work by top industry professionals.
Why Your Business Needs a Custom Website Design
When your competitors’ websites are updated and trendy, they raise the standard within the market. They're also subtly telling your target audience of potential customers what isn’t. The last thing your brand wants to do is fall behind in the market because of an old website.
That doesn't mean you want or need a website just like theirs. Your business is totally unique. Shouldn't your website be too? Your brand should be seen as a leader in its industry, not a follower or just someone else in the pack.
A custom website made by the industry's top professional tells your potential customers that you know what you're doing, and you're the best at what you do. You want your website to give them a great first impression, and nothing less will do.
As you move forward with designing a new website, you’ll find that the right choice of elements for your brand will vary depending on what you want to accomplish and who you are. For example, if you are a photography business, try displaying your previous work in a portfolio format and make it simple for your clients to order prints from an online store. On the other hand, if you’re creating a website for your bakery, a simple and professional website that lists all of your options and prices, plus a way to order them online, will do the trick. A bakery wouldn't need as many visual elements as a photographer, but would instead probably focus on listing ingredients, prices, and options.
How to Design a Web Page
As you look at the list above, it's easy to see that designing a fully-functional and professional-looking website isn't as simple as it may have sounded a few minutes ago. Thanks to the evolution of template website builders, you can design a website on your own. The question is, should you?
You will need to follow these steps:
Choose a website builder
Define your layout
Create your content
Add the right pages
Design your website elements
Optimize for mobile
Strengthen your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
Publish and update
Even using a website builder, there is a lot that goes into a project of this size. Web designers require their own unique set of tools to create and design.
How to Design a Website Layout
Planning your website layout is like setting its foundation, since it will determine the arrangement and sequence of visual elements on each page of your website. This critical step in web design plays a role in a site’s visual appearance, level of usability, and amplifying its main messaging. The best layout for your website can be determined by a variety of factors: the goals of your website, the message you want to convey to viewers, and what kind of content you’ll include. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution so you'll need to play around with it a bit.
How Long Does it Take to Design a Website?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, like who you choose to do the work, their experience level, and their preferred design process. In general, the process of designing and deploying a professionally built website could take anywhere from 90 days to six months. A simple website with little more than a homepage and a contact us page will be finished and fully-functional long before a massive e-commerce website.
This time frame includes several weeks for discovery, design, development, quality testing, and modifications. Even if you find it takes longer than you would expect or want, don’t rush it. There's no reason to go live with something less than stellar. You won't be doing yourself any favors.
How to Choose a Web Design Company
The world of web design is more dynamic than ever before. It is constantly evolving to meet the growing needs of website owners and visitors alike. For many brands, this now includes mobile apps, web apps, and e-commerce stores. Your website needs to keep up!
The only thing left to do now is learn how to choose a web design company for the services you need. You're looking for a web design company with a robust portfolio. This is why looking at an agency's web design portfolio is essential to feeling comfortable that they're the right team for you.
You want to choose a fantastic agency who will create a website you're proud to call your own. The Old State is on the short list of Dallas digital marketing agencies who will help you do just that. Our talented team of web design experts work with a wide range of design tools. Take a look around our website and then reach out to us, so we can share exactly what our team can do to elevate your online presence!
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