Website Design – Removing Yourself From the Equation
Having a website can to some people feel a bit like having a baby. This is something you spend a lot of time and thought creating, and something that will represent you online like an ambassador for you or for your company. Even if you outsource the design of your site, then you are still going to be heavily involved in choosing the colors and the layout and you’ll likely find you have an image of the site in your mind that you want to achieve.
Is this the right way to go about designing a website though? Because if you are basing your web design on an image in your head, then what is that based on other than ‘personal preference’? This is just like your preference in interior design – it quite possibly doesn’t appeal to the largest number of people it possible could. For your front room that hardly matters as it’s you who’s going to spend the most time in that room. But for your website it really does matter.
Who is Your Website For?
There’s a temptation to design a website based entirely on intuition and on gut feelings. You love blue and think it feels futuristic so why not make it mostly out of dark blue? You love technology and complex patterns so why not have it look like the internal workings of a circuit? Well this is why: because if you did that you’d end up with a dark website that was overly complex and difficult to navigate and that would put a lot of your potential viewers off as soon as the page loaded.
When you make a website for a business or company you need to look at the design of the site in the same way that a business looks at any other aspect of their products and services. Did you know that Shampoo companies have whole focus groups and sometimes whole teams dedicated to deciding what font to use on their bottles? It’s worth the companies investing those resources into such a seemingly small detail because it translates into more sales. Your website is full of fonts and colors and it has the potential to make you a lot of sales so you need to be scientific about the process – even if it’s not to your personal preference.
Where to Get Your Inspiration
So if you aren’t building a site that you like necessarily, how do you know what it should look like? The key is to do research and to listen to those that know what they’re talking about. So consult with your web design company and if they advise strongly against using red writing on a blue background then listen to them. Next do market research – draw up some color schemes of websites, or print out a few websites similar to your own and get people’s reactions to them. If you’re part of a large organization then you can put some resources behind this and do real market research. If yours is more of a small local business then just show your ideas around to some friends and get some basic reactions. You can’t please everyone, but you can see which designs get the most yeses and which turn people off.