What is Web Design?
When you think of web design, what comes to mind?
Usually, the look and layout of a website is the first thing that comes to mind. But, web design is so much more than that! It’s everything you can see and interact with online!
Web design does include all the visual components of a website, such as text styles, layout, colors, graphics, and more. But, good web design includes so much more than that. A website doesn’t just have to look good – it also has to function well. User experience, user interface, structure, and more also go into good web design. These elements not only help build how a website or other element looks, but also how it functions and how users can interact with it.
All of these pieces are an integral part of website design. Although websites tend to be one of the biggest parts of it, web design encompasses a wide variety of things and can be applied to anything published on the web. Whether you’re thinking about graphics for social media, eBooks and PDFs, infographics, e-newsletters, and more, web design is involved if it’s going to be viewed on the web and available online for user interaction.
Why is Web Design Important to Me?
Web design matters to you because it matters to your customers.
Whether you run a B2B company or a B2C company, your customers are online. They’re searching for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. You want to show up when and where your customers are looking, but you also want to make sure your business looks good when you do.
That’s where web design can help you.
When done well, web design can help your brand stand out and stay consistent no matter where your customers find you online. Poorly executed web design reflects badly on your brand and can cause your customers to view you with suspicion. It can also leave them with a negative impression of your brand and may even drive them to your competitors!
On the other hand, great web design can help increase their trust in your brand and leave them with a positive outlook towards it. This is especially true on your website. A great custom website design makes your business stand out online, leaves potential customers with a positive view of your brand, and helps convert them into customers for your business.
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4 Elements That Make for a Great Custom Website Design
1. The Right Look for Your Business
A great custom website design should match your brand. It should have the right look, feel, and function for your business and for your customers.
2. A Fantastic User Experience
Good user experience is essential for your website. It doesn’t matter how good your site looks – if your users don’t have a good experience, they’ll just leave. And, they’ll often leave with a negative view of your brand. On top of that, many of them won’t ever come back. If you’re offering them a bad experience, why would they?
Instead, make sure your website offers a fantastic user experience. Whether it’s their first visit or their fiftieth, your users should have a good experience that makes them want to come back and keep interacting with your brand. A lot goes into offering a fantastic user experience. Making sure these areas are covered can help you start off with some strong basics:
UI/UX That is Properly Planned Out and Implemented
Good user interface and user experience (UI/UX) is all about implementation. Intentions may matter, but even the best intentions can be wrecked by poor implementation. UI/UX that is properly planned out and implemented correctly ensures the user experience is good and that it actually works as intended.
Sensible and Intuitive User Flow
User flow refers to the path a user takes on your website in order to complete a task. The “task” to be completed will vary from user to user - your website should be designed in a way to provide a pathway for them that is logical and easy to use.
Responsive Design That Works Flawlessly on Any Device
Your site should be designed and built with the "responsive web" in mind. People access the web from a variety of devices and screen sizes - your website should work flawlessly on all of them and responsive web design can help it happen. With mobile searches making up the majority of search traffic, it’s important that you aren’t missing out due to poor design. Proper responsive design makes sure your audience can view and navigate your website smoothly and easily no matter what they’re using.
Fast Load Times and Easy Browsing
Part of offering a good user experience on your website is making sure it loads quickly. How fast? As fast as possible without hindering other aspects of a great experience. You only have a couple of seconds for your web page to load before users start leaving. By making sure your website loads lightning-fast and offers an easy browsing experience, you can help give people a reason to stay on your site longer, explore, and then convert.
3. A Website That Supports and Grows Your Business
A good website doesn’t just look nice and function well – it also supports your business and helps it grow. Your website shouldn’t just look good for the sake of it. It should guide visitors to the information they’re looking for and give them opportunities to convert into a lead for your business. Whether it’s planning sales funnels, optimizing user experience, placing calls-to-action, and more, our years of experience can help you turn website browsers into buyers.
4. A Solid Web Design & Development Process That Delivers
When it comes to your website, it’s important for it to be designed well and built right. The best way to ensure that happens is to use a process that has consistently delivered the intended results. Here is a peek into the web design & development process we use here at MIND:
Our web design & development process starts with a Discovery phase. This part of the process is all about meeting with you and gathering information. We’ll discuss your business’s needs, your goals, and more as well as how we can help you meet them. From there, we’ll hammer out the details and regroup with you to go over a plan for your site design and build.
Planning the Website Structure
After figuring out what type of website will suit your business needs the best, the next step is to plan out the site structure. This is where we’ll determine what pages need to be included, how they should be associated with each other for the best impact, and more. Essentially, we’re creating a wireframe - a skeleton for the pages of your website and their hierarchy, as well as specific functionality and user-flows.
The Design Phase is where we take the approved wireframes and transform them into fully-fledged layouts. In this phase, you’ll see all the branding, graphics, typography, and other design choices come together. We create a separate design for each type of page needed. Next, the site design goes out to you for revisions and approval. Our in-house designer will discuss the designs with you and make necessary changes as you both see fit.
During the design phase, we’ll gather your existing content for use in both the design templates and for use during the site build. This is also a good time for us to work together to further define any new content that needs to be written or current content that needs to be reworked or updated based on what was discussed during Discovery. This ensures your current content will be in the right place, at the right time during the site build and is ready for you to review once the site is built. By working with content early on in the process, we can help ensure content is in place as the site is built so it doesn’t cause any potential delays on the path to site launch.
With the design finalized, our web development team is given the green light on your project and dives into building your site. During this phase of the process, your design is brought to life as we create all the necessary pages, build functionality, and more - all using the latest web standards.
QA & Launch
With the design, content load, and development complete, your site is sent to you for review in a staging environment. After that, your site undergoes one final round of quality assurance and testing with us. When we’re sure that everything is running smoothly and working as intended, we’ll contact you to take your site live!
Getting People to Your Website
Our sites come with the SEO basics built-in in addition to analytics access. But, having a website alone is not enough - you have to get people to it! You can use your access to analytics to inform your own marketing campaigns or we can help drive traffic to your site with our ongoing marketing and SEO services.
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What Type of Design Do You Need?
Design is more than just websites. At MIND, we understand that websites are part of something much larger – your brand. From your website to your marketing materials and more, the design should resonate with your brand and your principles.
What type of design do you need? Whether it’s from scratch or matching existing materials, we can help!
Your website represents your brand online. Solid website design can make sure the interaction your customers have online with you is a good one and can help grow your business.
Beyond that, you’ll want to make sure your social media profiles, email signatures, and other online materials all match your brand. Wherever your brand exists online, we can help you with design assets to help your business put its best face forward.
Your branding should evoke an emotion, inspire trust in your customers, communicate an idea, and show professionalism. It should be recognizable and consistent across all channels. Most importantly, it should represent your business and help make customers want to work with you and refer their friends to you. Does your branding match your company?
Do all of your materials match? Are you using fonts and colors appropriate for your industry? If not, maybe it’s time for a rebrand. Whether you’re an existing brand in need of a redesign or a new business that needs to create a brand, the team at MIND can help!
Your branding needs to be consistent across all channels – both online and offline. No matter what your “real world” design needs may be, we can help create designs for physical materials that are truly assets to your brand – no matter where it may be.
Do your current branding and website design look or feel outdated? Whether your brand has been established for years or you’re just starting out, the team at MIND can help. Call us at 717-517-8383 to set up a meeting of the MINDs to talk about your design needs!