Wednesday 25 June 2014

Web Design Tips - the insider word!

Following on from last months blog post about the current trends in web design, we thought we would give some tips 'from the inside' about designing or redesigning your website.

Thanks to our resident design guru 'loz' for helping us get these tips together... She's a star!

        Colour meanings
The choice of the colour scheme you want to use in your site is important. Different colours have specific meanings and associations, and it is worthwhile doing a little research into colour effects if you really want your website to reflect what your brand represents. It is interesting to take note that colours meanings can have vastly differing associations across various cultures, so consider where your target market is based in the world and make sure your design colour schemes relate to their culture!

•         Who is your target market?
I can’t emphasise enough how important is it to realise early on who your target market it. If you can define what kind of people will be visiting your site, this will save you a lot of trouble in the future and also guide all other design choices along the way. Knowing your target market will help you choose imagery, colour palettes, how to organise content, whether mobile-ready versions are a major priority, the list goes on. Is your site for a doctor who caters for the elderly? This means your site needs to have bold graphics, a muted colour palette for readability yet also convey a trustworthy feeling. However, if your site is for all ages and demographics then you’ll need to define a way to ensure your design elements something universal! A good way to figure out who is your target market is to describe the traits of a typical visitor as if you were describing a well-known friend to someone.

•         Character!
Infusing your site with the personality of your brand can help define what your brand stands for. (like the digerati site!)  How can you bring personality to a design? Through textures, colours, imagery, illustrations and the tone of voice in your content, you can start bringing a character to your site. Once you’ve established some character of your brand, you can start considering what emotions or feeling you want people to experience and therefore associate with your brand.  A website is a really important point of contact with your business, so ensuring your website conveys what your brand stands for will ensure your brand is represented with more than just a logo.

        Think below the fold.
Complimenting Ainsley’s last blog about the latest trends in design as being all about scrolling , I think it’s important to talk further about why websites are commonly now displaying information ‘below the fold’. The term comes from newspapers, where important headlines need to be above the fold of the newspaper to capture the attention of passers by. In website design, it has always been a tradition to keep everything you want to say for a user upon immediate arrival, ‘above the fold’ so without any scrolling needed. Keeping the key values, messages, and imagery of your business as the only elements “above the fold” can be a really effective way of immediately communicating what your business is all about. It is a good way to introduce some character to your site, by having a quirky callout about what your business offering is, and asking people to scroll down to find out more! I think the breakaway from designs that are above the fold is not just a passing trend of 2014 but an efficient and clever way to quickly get people’s attention and tell what your business is all about!

•         Future proof your new design!
By now everybody knows that mobile technology is a fast paced and ever growing industry! Since the introduction of tablets and smart phone, so much has already evolved, and responsive design is crucial right now in keeping up with the pack. Even if you don’t see the need for your target market using mobile devices today, there’s no telling what could happen in the coming years, and you want your design to out-stand this! It is also worthwhile to think about how easily your information is to navigate on mobile devices. Less clicking, the better in the mobile environment, so try not to have lots of complicated dropdowns and small buttons that people need to use their pinky finger to try and tap.

And of course, you'll need to find yourself a great web development team to work with you to bring this all to life. Digerati Solutions has experience designing and building hundreds of websites for clients in all types of industries - big business and small!

Get in touch and start bringing those dreams to life!