Five Principles Of Successful Web Design
SWC’s Chicago Digital Marketing group’s philosophy on design is simple: design should be used to achieve a purpose, not just design for design’s sake. We take that point of view very seriously and apply it to every design project we engage in. In the end a website should be more than just pretty, it should communicate a message, clarify uncertainties and elicit a response.
We’ve put together a list of five principles that can be used to improve any website.
Your brand is probably one of your business’ most important assets. How you appear to potential customers and how your current clients perceive your brand can be one of the most important determining factors for future growth. Does your current website convey to visitors that you are a business they can trust, or does it make you look like a fly-by -night operation? If your website doesn’t clearly and effectively convey your brand position you might be losing business without even knowing it.
If you aren’t sold on the importance of branding take a look at the Intrabrand Best Global Brands of 2012 rankings. Brands that are ranked highly on the list consistently outperform their competitors and have laid the foundation for consistent growth year after year.
Design for Usability
What is usability? Simply put, usability represents the ease of use of a website or software application. Can current and new customers find what they are looking for quickly on your site? Can they easily consume that information without needing to jump through hoops?
This has taken on a whole new level of importance with the emergence of mobile web browsing. Overall the projections are perfectly clear and predictable: the desktop PC monitor is steadily losing its dominance as tablets, phones and other mobile devices experience continued growth in sales.
Search Engine Optimization
What good is a website without visitors? A good SEO strategy brings traffic to your site and should be part of your site’s functional design strategy.
Sites that rely on heavy use of Flash and images to convey content simply aren’t understood well by Google and other search engines. Your website should use plenty of copy, well organized html tags (Alt, Title, and H1) and demonstrate a clear hierarchy of content to search engines, as demonstrated with a well-designed sitemap. Successful SEO design balances the use of visual design and SEO content to achieve a site that looks great and performs well in the search engines.
Strive for Clean, Purpose Driven Design
Well organized content helps visitors to find exactly what they are looking for and enables site owners to guide visitors toward content they want without overwhelming them. Well-designed sites make good use of white space, include call to actions, and are designed to funnel visitors in a content flow. Sites that make use of clean design principles convey a sense of organization and reliability that reflects directly on how visitors may view your business. A couple of good examples include the new Microsoft.com site, Google Ventures and hopefully our SWC Technology Partners site!
Creative Visual Design
Finally, we can get to the fun stuff – that layer of artistic design that we in the industry call visual design. After all of the previous considerations have been put into action, it’s time to make your site stand out from the crowd and create a lasting impression. This is the final coat of polish that brings the whole site together, immediately draws visitors in and positively influences their first impression of your company.
Understanding the principles of successful web design can help to ensure that your next web project will be a successful endeavor. By following our five principles, you can save time, boost traffic and improve the performance of your website.