What do you envision for your website?
When you hire a web designer, most likely they’ll ask for the look and feel of your new and improved website.
They want to hear from you because:
- They value your opinion. Your input contributes to the process.
- The designer has a clearly defined idea of where to start. This way, unplanned obstacles can be avoided.
What do you tell them? What is the most important information you can give your web designer? How do you know what you really want to see in your website? If you are having trouble providing initial feedback, utilize the following tips to generate ideas and provide helpful input.
Think big. Spot your national competitors.
One of the best ways to communicate how you want your website to look is by showing your web designer other websites you like. Scan competitors’ websites, not just regionally, but nationally, and even internationally.
Send 2 or 3 to your designer and specify:
What do you like about these sites? What do you not like about them?
Caution: Only looking at your local competitors’ websites impedes your ability to make a sound decision.
If all of your local competitors have horribly designed sites, and you pick the best one to “adopt” with your own branding, your website will just be the best looking of the worst looking websites. Shoot for the stars. When starting with a fresh new design, identify the best websites in your industry. You’ll trump your closest competitors.
Ask your designer. Trust their opinion.
If you really have no idea how you want your website to look, ask your web designer for recommendations. Have them provide example sites so you can get acquainted with design and the functionality behind it. Trust their expert opinion – that is why you hired them.
Provide honest feedback. If you don’t like something, explain it to them. Ask the designer why they recommend a certain website.
Especially if you’re used to running your own business, it can be tough to let go of the reins. Just remember the designer is the expert in their field. Try your best to avoid letting personal bias get in the way of your site visitors’ experience.
Keep it simple.
The majority of small business websites should keep their website simple. Having flashy animated objects just for the sake of it does not mean the website is better.
The key: Give the user control over what happens.
Too much animation causes the user to feel encroached upon, as if they don’t have any control. The probability of them abandoning the site now skyrockets.
Current trend dictates solid colors, flat buttons, and big easy-to-read text and headlines. Research and explore current web design trends. Like this article, looking forward to 2015 trends.
It is highly likely that users will visit your website more often on a small mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, than on a traditional desktop or laptop. More reason to keep your website simple. Smaller screens make it difficult to look at a heap of content at once. Keep your message focused and get rid of content you absolutely do not need.
Focus the design around your message.
Define your company’s purpose in a sentence. What message do you want to send? Try to make the design of your site parallel your message.
For example, if you sell financial planning, your message may be: providing financial stability for families. What images bring that concept to life?
Now let design tell the story of your message, because we all know a picture is worth a thousand words.
Core aspects to remember before design begins:
- Find out what’s expected before the web designer starts the actual design.
- Example sites help both you and the designer achieve a desired look and feel. This limits surprise setbacks in the initial design stage.
- Keep your design simple to make site visitors feel happy and in control.