Need a new website to drive engagement and growth for your business but not sure where to start? Whether you’re a small business or large corporation, our design team has put together their top website design hacks to save you loads of time, money and unnecessary churn.
So sit back, take some deep breaths and get ready to smile some big cheesy
If you’re building a new website or want to supercharge your existing one, follow our tips that will firmly anchor your brand in the minds of your customers.
All aboard our 6-step journey to create a winning website without the headache.
1. Align your website to your brand guidelines
You will save yourself loads of churn if you lay out and follow your brand guidelines from the get-go. A brand guideline document sets the visual tone, brand elements and rules that will keep your website, marketing materials and messaging in-line. It incorporates things like a brief outline of your company, colour palette, approved fonts (along with how to use them and where), i.e. headlines, copywriting guidelines, image styles and any other information relevant to your brand style.
Want some tips on building your brand style guide? Read our post on Why Design Consistency Matters – A Lot.
2. Design your website for easy navigation
Effective website navigation design allows your new and existing customers to easily find the information they need about your business. Whether it’s finding more about your services, looking at your portfolio or just grabbing your contact information, it is essential to design your site to be intuitive, clear and concise for customers. For copy on website headers and drop-down contents be sharp, short and user friendly with language – the fewer words, the better!
A basic navigation tip that is often missed is to position your brand logo at the top left hand corner of the site which will link back to your homepage. In a similar vein, having wide, large page footers are a great, intuitive place to link to your business’ social accounts as well as your help, FAQ and contact information.
3. Use space intentionally on your website
Mindfully using space on your website will help your customers easily navigate and find the information they need as well as make for a visually clear and appealing design – to make your brand standout! We all know that there is nothing worse than a busy, messy website with text heavy, mis-matched imagery and too much content!
For example, leaving whitespace around a product is an effective way to let the item standout without a busy background. Leaving space between images and information allows a browsing customer to stop and easily digest information without feeling overwhelmed.
A ‘hamburger menu’ is a clever compact menu navigation invention that frees up screen space for you to prioritise more relevant content about your business. When planning your website, make intentional decisions on which images you use, how much text you need and how these elements marry up to include space.
4. Optimise images for website speed
You might have a great service and a great website but if it takes more than a few seconds to load you might just lose the interest of a large majority of your potential customers. It’s important to find the perfect video and image file sizes which allow for quality content without the site burden of huge files. According to HTTP Archive, as of November 2018, videos are about 60% of a total webpage’s weight and images are on average 21% of the total.
There are loads of great file size editing and compressing tools available such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, JPEG Mini and more. Let us know if you have any questions about optimising videos and images for your website!
5. Optimise website design for mobile
Whether you’ve been shopping online, browsing your social accounts or Googling to find a ‘lawyer near me’, according to statcounter data from April 2020, 45% of Australia’s website visits take place on a mobile device. We see so many businesses only focused on their website’s desktop design experience leaving a sub par mobile website and losing engagement of almost half of potential new customers.
Mobile optimised websites, compared to just mobile-user friendly or responsive sites provide a better customer experience and unsurprisingly as a result drive high conversion rates. Designing a unique mobile version for your website doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming and it will certainly save you money in the long run!
6. Get the support of a professional designer
If you’ve had a crack at DIY website design but would like some creative tips and digital marketing expertise, getting a professional designer can save you hours. Professional designers are basically visual communication gurus. They are trained to translate your business and marketing goals into beautiful design.
When it comes to uncovering that design ‘chest of treasure’, sometimes it’s easiest (and more fun) to get a crew of creative scallywags on your side!
Need help with your website design? For affordable and consistent design your customers will love, check out the 55 KNOTS Website Packages.