Understand Your Website is Your Online Building
by Tamara S.
(Note: I had so many thoughts on this one topic I had to split it into two blogs – the next blog will post the following Friday.)
I think the design of a company’s website is one of the most underestimated decisions, as well as the most under-discussed and under-developed decisions, that a business owner or manager can make for their website. To unpack my really long sentence, I’ll break it into a few thoughts. We’ll start with the basics:
The Basics of Website Design – Design is Important, it Does Matter, and it Does Take Time
First of all, website design is extremely important in the conversion of online visitors into leads. Everything from color, layout, ease of use, and even the placement of your company logo are all facets of design that matter to your visitor (even if they don’t know it!).
The most difficult aspect of design is not making your website “look pretty,” but rather making it user-friendly and engaging for a wide variety of audiences. The key is to do this without also overwhelming them with too much stuff: Overwhelming the visitor can negatively affect both visitor-use and search engine rankings. Furthermore, a website that is too slow because of bloated code also becomes a nuisance to visitors, and slow websites are frequently punished by search engines.
However, the flip side is that when a business decides that it’s time to redesign their website, I find that many people have not considered all the different aspects of their website, and at the same time want the site redesigned in an unbelievably short amount of time.
The result of these two aspects is that website design is highly important, but busy business owners and managers too often do not think of a website as needing that much attention. Either they do not value the importance of a website, and/or they do not understand the process involved. It should be easy; virtual design is a piece of cake, right?
No, it’s not, and I think a brief metaphor here will help explain how important I think a website (and the design of a website) should be to each and every business owner, manager, and person out there, and the fact that yes, good web design takes time.
Designing a House or Office Takes Months: Spare a Little Time for Your Website Design
It might be hard for some people to grasp this thought, but website design, to me, is a lot like building a house or an office. First, you need a plan. Before you ever touch a stone or a brick or a piece of wood, you have to know why you are building this house or this office. Is it personal? Is it for work? What’s its purpose and primary function? Who will be visiting it? What do you want them to do while they are there? Will they have all the utilities and tools once inside to do what they came there to do? Will they even know how to navigate their way around the layout?
Without this goal and asking yourself these questions, you are building haphazardly, which is detrimental to both your business as well as the website. You might get lucky with a website, in that the website might work without a plan (perhaps unlike a construction job). But even then, it will only work for so long before its flaws will begin to show through.
Part 2 will discuss the aspect of the planning process of website design and redesign.