It is commonplace for a company to use a website as its face or storefront. But it is uncommon to find a company that understands how to put its best face forward.
Said another way, businesses struggle to understand the basics of putting together a great website.
Uploading a company home page is like walking into the office. Does it greet visitors and tell them they're in the right place? Is it easy to follow, with clear instructions visually or in writing? Can users walk through the office or click through the pages with ease? These are a few questions to understand the user experience.
However, before getting to these questions, there are some first-level concerns. The first point of attention should be the website's look and feel.
If you were heading into a business whose front door was down a dark alley, would you mentally conclude that it might not be the business you were seeking? The same is true of your landing page and overall website design.
Here are a few quick tips to guide the initial phase of creating or reviewing your website.
Layout - Keep it simple and focused on content, because your message is the most important thing on your website. How does it look to walk into a brick-and-mortar office and see lots of coats hanging near the door, different types of chairs, several people that don't say anything, and debris and used coffee cups lying around? Many make the mistake of having programmers design their websites. Instead, find someone who understands digital look and feel. Designing a website is not like designing a brochure.
Colors - Use only four or five. This includes text color - black - and the background color, such as white. Too many can distract from the message or instructions.
Fonts - Typography is a powerful communicator. For example, if your business's name is Anderson Law Firm but that name is presented with a font that has small curls at the end of each character, it doesn't communicate professionalism or confidence. However, such a font would be perfect for a cupcake company or an accessory store.
Graphics - These are important and should be considered carefully in the website's scheme. For example, if there is a lot of color in a graphic, limit its use to a single location and run it relatively small. If the logo is simple and there doesn't seem to be much energy on a page, look at adding graphics on pages or as watermarks behind text.
Sizes of elements - This is a consideration that few include in their website design. Most of the time you can find brochures, newsletters and websites using large graphics, a large logo, and then large spaces.
Less is more, and just because you can, doesn't mean you should. There is a hierarchy in layout. Make your most important message or information - and often that isn't the name or the logo - the standout.
Before designing or redesigning your website , consider asking a trained graphic designer or someone in fine art for some input. They will be worth every penny.