The Ultimate Guide To Website Design
Some People Excel In Designing Websites And Some Don’t – Which One Are You?
So you’re taking the first step towards having an online presence in Indonesia and looking to design a website of your own. Seems a little intimidating? Don’t worry! Anyone can build beautiful websites.
Do keep this in mind though, nobody can be the best web developer overnight! All you have to do is just follow these simple steps and you won’t go wrong! You just need practice.
Many people believe that if they want to start designing a great website, they will need years of experience and all kinds of expensive resources. That is absolutely not true! And lucky for you, you have this step by step guide to show you exactly how you start designing any website.
However, with that being said, there are some technical things that you will need to know before you switch on your computer and start designing. Don’t worry too much about that yet because we’ll go through exactly what you need to do one thing at a time. Despite not being too difficult, it is essential to know the basics of a great website.
Statistically in Indonesia for example, almost 1/3 of the people who visit a website will leave and exit if they find the aesthetics and layout to be unappealing. You may want to compare a website to a mobile phone. It can have the best specifications and the best processors but if it is bulky and looks like a calculator, people may lose interest in buying it.
It’s the same concept, people love looking at beautiful things so having a website that’s clean and looks aesthetic are among the essential things to having a great website.
1 – Have A Great First Impression
It seems like a very straightforward idea but before all else, the first thing that needs to be highlighted is the purpose of your website. What is it there for? As simple as it is, the very foundation of your company should be its purpose and how it adds value to customers. How is your company different from everyone else and how do you make it unique so that you leave a lasting impression?
Bottom line is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. They are becoming smarter everyday and if you are out there to just feed on their money, they will notice. Your online identity is a reflection of your brand and it needs to be authentic and engage those who see it.
In order to achieve such understanding and avoid the idea of only making profit, it’s crucial to have a clear mission and vision for the company. Once that is all cleared up, the next question to ask is what do you want to achieve?
Direct your attention towards the kind of action you want your visitors to take when they are on your website. Is your online platform there to just provide information for people to read? Or are you there to sell products and services?
To ensure the direction you want your company to move forward to, those questions have to be answered. Those answers will then help in deciding the general feel of your website. The very first thing someone sees when they visit your website will be your landing page, and it is an essential part of the whole design of your website. It is basically like the front cover of a book and frankly speaking, don’t we all judge a book based on its cover?
Want people to continue through your website? Make sure its not messy and all over the place. Your landing page should not be overloaded with all kinds of information, rather it should be neat and focused focusing on a particular service or product.
This should also be supported with effective CTAs (Call To Action) and more often than not, it isn’t necessarily a one size fits all. It is important to understand that different people have different needs and some are more receptive to a specific type of landing page.
To reach out more effectively to visitors, you essentially have to understand their needs better. This will result in a more customized user experience to better deliver and serve their wants and needs. This process is known as customer segmentation and effectively applying it will positively impact your business.
2 – Researching The Current Trends
Understanding the current trends will greatly boost your advantage however it is always changing and evolving. Despite that, there are prevalent trends that you can learn a lot from. It does not necessarily have to mean just because there is a new trend on the web, you should jump on the bandwagon and follow it. Some trends are just not meant for everyone.
Web design evolves quickly, but there are some more prevalent trends you can learn from. At this point, it’s important to note that just because a web trend is current, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for you.
Many people have highlighted that among other things, the design of a website is the most important thing they look out for. So important that it takes less than a minute for someone to decide if they should continue scrolling through or if they should leave.
This is why it is essential to not rush into it and observe your competitors and adapt your own style into your website.
For example, if you take a closer look into companies, there are very distinct patterns they follow, be it similar structures or even similar colors. The styles that they use are important to take note because that will help you decide whether you should fit in with the industry or disrupt it.
There are various elements to observe and learn from different industries. From the choice of colors they use to the style and structures that they have. Among the many trends these are currently some of the more notable features you might want to include in your website;
3 – Chatbots For Websites
Chatbots : In the current age of technology, how can one not install a chatbot!? With them around you can efficiently save time and money to focus on the things that matter more. By working around the clock non-stop, these chatbots can help you cut a lot of expenses employing staff to work as customer service representatives.
Furthermore, with businesses spending so much on customer service requests, you can expect these chatbots to be a real lifesaver. The days where they were just gimmicks are no longer, and despite being far from perfection, these chatbots are improving at a fast rate.
Their ability to provide tailored support to customers on top with evolving emotional intelligence, you can imagine what the future has in store for the developments of newer generation of chatbots. There’s never been a better time to install one.
4 – User Interactions On A Website
Everyone loves hands on engagement. It keeps us captivated and interested throughout the user experience on a website. One of the most effective and engaging trends are micro-interactions! These are small animations that appear when a user reacts or comments on a post.
This is most commonly seen on Facebook and it adds a whole new character and personality to a website. These micro-interactions create a way for visitors to have a personal experience with your website. It is not only limited to animations, you can customize your loading page, hovering the mouse cursor or even clicking and scrolling.
These interactions are essential in building relationships with people because it creates a unique user experience for everyone. Even though they might not be for every business, there are still many benefits websites can gain from micro interactions.
5 – Choosing The Right Platform
What pops into your mind when someone mentions quality web design? You would probably think of hiring a professional from a digital media agency, right? While it’s true that high end companies are able to create awesome websites, they often with not so awesome price tags.
Fret not, there is another alternative to still get amazing looking websites without burning a hole in your wallet. They are called website builders and e-commerce platforms! These are online tools where you can find online to help you design and create your very own website.
No knowledge on coding and programming? Don’t worry about that either because with these website builders you won’t have to scratch your head figuring out a single line of code!
As such, you will be faced with a variety of options to choose from, and each with their own perks and varying quality.
6 – Selecting The Right Theme & Template
Once you have cleared up and gotten the purpose of your website, researched the current online trends for web design and have a platform you want to use, you should find it easier to see what you want out of a template or the kind of theme you are looking for.
A template, or theme is the overall layout of a website, it’s basically the skeleton of your entire website. Many platforms and web builders will allow you to choose a variety of templates which already has their own content that you can edit along the way or refer to as examples.
These templates you will find are most likely separated into various categories, based on the type of industry you are working with. This is to assist it in making it much easier and more efficient to find the right template for you.
Within the templates, you will find built-in features that are useful and similar in nature to an industry. This is to make it convenient, saving you time and effort when searching for one in the future.
Using a dental clinic for example, it becomes useful and easier to research trends after seeing what other dental clinics are doing. Additionally as a website user, it would be far more efficient to scroll through rather then having to click across different pages. So, if your website only needs basic information, you could consider having a one-page template.
7 – Your Company Branding
Branding! Finally, it’s time to actually start designing your own website. Putting what we have learnt into practice, before starting the design, you should have a general picture of how you want it all to glue together seamlessly to reflect your company image and brand.
Everything from the choice of colors that you use to the styles and types of font you use, accompanied with visual imagery, adds together in playing a major role in expressing the brand of your company. It’s essential to understand that these minor details are what adds together to send the message of your overall brand to visitors.
8 – Corporate or Personal Colors
Colors are easily the biggest communication element for a company. Colors carry an idea to consumers and using the right color for your brand can greatly boost its recognition. Think Coca-Cola and Pepsi and their iconic colors. Who can miss those?
There’s a lot of psychology behind people’s perception of color, so it’s important to understand how it’s used in relation to your industry. Most brands have one dominant color, rather than two or three secondary colors.
If you want your site to keep up with modern trends, then vibrant colors are the way to go.
9 – The Right Font Styles
Likewise, the font you choose has a huge impact on how people think of your website. When a person visits a website and reads its contents, it’s important to entice then with the appropriate mood.
Naturally, white-collar businesses will want to use classic styles of font. Fonts like Arial and Helvetica are associated with professionalism, thus useful to use when discussing serious matters.
A creative industry, however, may opt to explore other abstract fonts. It’s important to strike a balance between interesting and readable, as long as you don’t confuse readers with too many different fonts.
As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid using Comic Sans font. That is, unless you’re planning a kids birthday party!
10 – Images
Images are how you captivate and transform your humble website into a visual masterpiece. Visual content is useful for increasing clicks and engagement, but on a more fundamental level, images just stay in our mind longer. That said, be careful not to go overboard with images.
Lots of high-quality images might look great, but they can slow your website down. Web users can be impatient, and will go look for another if your site doesn’t load quickly.
Stay above the game and look over the fence to see what your competitors are doing, and never be afraid to learn from the best. Follow the steps in our guide, and you’ll be turning monochrome designs into vibrant and captivating experience for web users.
The truth is, a web designer’s job is never truly done. If you just sit back and admire your work, others will likely climb above you. We’re not suggesting you need to be making changes every minute, but keeping track of your site’s performance and the shifts in web design trends will help you go a long way.