There’s not much you can’t do online these days. Book your flights, book a table for a restaurant, buy clothes, buy tech equipment, buy cinema tickets, stream movies, send invoices, manage your bank account… the list is endless. Ecommerce has grown at a rapid rate. For instance, over in the UK, 1 in every £5 that consumers are spending in shops is now online — in 2013, it had been 1 in every £10.
The statistic highlights the fact that if you want to give your business any chance of being in the money, a website is essential. The better the website, the better for your business. You can be sure your competitors will have one, and if they have one but you don’t, they’re giving themselves a major edge over you.
Just how important is web design?
It can make or break your business. Your website is a chance to make a big impression on a potential customer or client because the design will reflect — well or badly, depending on the quality of the design — on you and your business.
A good layout and well-organized content and visual elements will have a solid impact. If your website looks cluttered in any way, the website visitor could find the text hard to read, which may distract them from your message or even irritate them, and instead of hitting the ‘Buy’ button, they just click away.
This is in contrast to the impact of a more organized website. Smart typographical choices can help to make your site easier to understand and the text more straightforward to read, which allows you to convey your message more clearly. The website should also be simple to navigate, and users shouldn’t have any trouble finding what they need to. If they do, they’re not likely to come back. Offer a good user interface and you could be on the way to more transactions.
Remember, too, that a well-designed website helps to build potential customers’ trust in your business. A website that has a poor design or looks dated won’t inspire any confidence in them — they could even think your business is unprofessional, shady or seedy in some way. If the website has an attractive design, however, they’ll be more willing to look around and find out more about your business.
It’s important to note as well that your website is a continuation of your brand and, as such, should feature any logos you use on printed materials. This keeps things consistent across your brand. If you’re a well-established brand, people will be expecting you to have a good website and bad design will erode some of the trust they have in you.
Companies who have a good website
A website is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. You’ve done some of the hard work by getting your SEO strategy in order so that the potential customer sees you in the search results before your competitor. Now you have to capitalize on that. Below are a few examples of companies who have implemented design to good effect:
Wink Bingo, as you can imagine, is an online bingo website, and it inspires confidence in visitors the moment they click on it. The site is colorful to make it more appealing. Note, however, that it’s not working so hard to catch their eye that the colors are all clashing with each other. This allows the visitor to focus on the offering itself i.e. on choosing a game of bingo to play.
There’s also no confusion about the purpose of the site. Anyone who lands on the site understands straight away that they can play bingo on there and have a chance of winning some money. The different sections are clear — helped by the white space, which allows each one of them to stand out and stops the sight from appearing cluttered. Anyone who is looking to make the most of promotions or just to play a game of bingo can do so without any hassle.
The online real estate database Zillow leaves visitors in doubt what they’re there for: to find a suitable home. This website responds clearly to different intent, whether that intent is to list a home on the site, to rent, to buy or to sell a home, they can set about pursuing this immediately, thanks to the menu across the top of the website. Some of these options are then repeated further down the homepage.
One of the other important features of the design is the search box. This makes it quick and simple to choose the area where you’d like to live and to start looking for homes in that area. The user has no need to spend a lot of time clicking around.
Web surfers who like their tech and finance would love the design of the Zero website. The site wastes no time in what the product is and sets out the different components of their offering — an app, a credit card and a checking account — in a very clear fashion. The color scheme is as simple as they come — white and grey — and this keeps the eye focused on the product’s benefits of the product, which the design of the website helps to highlight. It also gives the website a clean feel.
The site brings its products to life for the consumer. They can see what they’ll be getting and there is a description of the product alongside an image of it. The text and the images work together well, allowing website visitors to form a better picture of what it is they’re buying.
A decent website is a must in business and good design is paramount. Get the design right and you can inspire trust in potential customers — or preserve it in existing customers — and encourage them to browse your website and invest in your products or services. Get it wrong and they’ll happily walk away, never to return.