Website design: A symbol of your organization
December 20, 2011
It's easy for business owners to overlook the value of website design - or really an sort of visual marketing, for that matter. Many business owners are not exactly aesthetically-disposed, which may cause them to shrug off website clutter and design flaws.
But the thing these decision-makers need to realize is that design is much more sub-conscious than they realize. When a prospect or customer first visits a website, the first thing they react to will be its design - not the content, the sales pitch or even the brand itself. If it looks amateur they will associate your company with the same response.
Professional design, on the other hand, evokes a sense of, well, professionalism. But it's important to realize that elaborate graphics and expensive-looking interactive features do not entail professionalism. Good design is simple and to the point - visitors do not want to be overwhelmed by choices or over-stimulated by visuals. They simply don't have the time. Instead, they want a quick overview of your organization and what it does.
"Ask yourself how you want to be perceived by your target market, then optimize accordingly," Lorrie Thomas Ross, CEO of marketing consultancy Web Marketing Therapy, told American Express OPEN Forum. "Small business owners need to understand that they do not spend on good web design, they are investing in long term collateral that lasts the life of an organization."
In most cases, it will not be you who designs your website. Your best bet is to hire a freelance developer with a strong design background. But that doesn't mean you can't guide the creation process. Here are two thoughts to consider in designing your company website.
What do you do?
Seems simple enough. But how you would answer this question in-person should inform how your website is designed. After all, why do prospects visit your website? They want to know what you do.
Design should serve as a symbol of your company
Color theory, aesthetic psychology, visual memory - you don't need to be an expert in these fields to recognize the importance of aligning design with company culture.
"A financial management company with a swirly psychedelic background on its page is sunk before it starts," writes Ramon Ray for OPEN. "That's an extreme example but the point holds. Every industry will have a look and feel that resonates with its customers. Find that vibe and go with it."