You took your time, did you market research and found a gap in the market and slid into that gap with grace and aplomb. Now your enterprise is up and running, it’s simply a case of finding the right motivated leads who will become tomorrow’s loyal repeat customers. But finding them might not be as easy as you first thought. This is, after all, the (almost) 2020s. An era where consumers have a plethora of choice and they know that they can afford to be fickle. An era where consumers will instinctively turn to search engines when they’re looking for a certain product or service.
This means whether your business used e-commerce exclusively, has its own retail premises or has a blended approach that uses both- it’s most likely that new prospects will discover your brand through your website. This means it’s more important that your website is saying all the right things about your brand and your business.
Can’t I just use a website builder?
We understand that for cost-conscious businesses who are just starting out, the wealth of easy-to-use website builders like Wix and Squarespace are extremely appealing. They offer ease of use, seemingly infinite customizability and an affordable price tag… so they may seem to check all the right boxes for thrifty nascent small businesses. However, they are also the very definition of false economy.
These website builders are easy enough to use and do allow you some degree of customization, but unless you’re already proficient in HTML you will likely struggle to get a finished product that looks like anything more than a modified template… and your business deserves better than that.
Remember that you’re not just running a business, you’re building a brand. And your website will be many users’ first experience of that brand.
As Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says- “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. So, make sure that your website offers motivated leads an accurate representation of your brand. If your website marks you out as an amateur or (worse still) a miser, you can expect users to click away from your site and into the open arms of your competitors… even if the service they offer pales in comparison to yours.
So, what makes a good website?
We’re often asked this question when we meet new clients. But at the risk of sounding trite, the honest answer is… it depends.
Depending on the nature of your business and the kinds of users you’re trying to target, you’ll want to make subtle tweaks to your website to better appeal to their needs, use and sensibilities.
This is why creative website design is so important!
It puts you in the driving seat; allowing you to control every aspect of the website design process to create an accurate representation of your brand and a pleasant and memorable experience for the user.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”.Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
Some important aspects of creative website design, which we can help clients to use to great effect, include…
Color isn’t just a key element of your branding, it’s a key factor in determining how users will react to your website and behave when using it. The use of certain colors carries huge psychological weight, and good creative web design leverages the use of color to create a more engaging user experience.
Color psychology is a fascinating and intricate discipline, and you’ll need to consider the key demographics of your target audience when choosing the right color combinations for your website. For example, did you know that kids tend to love the color yellow while adult men find it “distasteful”? Or that blue can both be a luxurious color for prestige brands and an appetite suppressant?
By leveraging a good understanding of color psychology you can maximize the impact your brand has on web users and subtly influence their behaviors.
Typography is another hugely important aspect of creative web design, although one that is woefully under-appreciated amongst emerging brands who are trying to out their own websites together.
Typography (your choice of fonts and lettering styles) goes a long way towards improving your website’s aesthetic as well as readability. While it’s important that your branding be consistent throughout your web design, it’s not usually recommended to use the same typography for your logo and your website copy. It can prove a real barrier to readability, especially on mobile devices.
It’s also important to remember that certain font types have certain connotations in the popular consciousness which can cast aspersions on your brand.
… unless you’re really feeling brave enough to launch a luxury brand that uses Comic Sans or Papyrus?
We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. But in an era where everyone with a smartphone is now a photographer, businesses need to be especially discerning when it comes to the kind (and quality) of images that they display on their websites.
When it comes to the images you display on your website you need to walk a fine line. Low quality / resolution images will cheapen your brand but large, high res files can increase your page load times which in turn can increase your bounce rates.
Needless to say, the images on your website should be of excellent quality, especially if they are showcasing your products, people or premises. They should be taken with a high quality digital camera rather than your phone and they should go through some post-production to ensure that they are as rich and lustrous as possible.
Don’t forget that your images can also have implications for your Search Engine Optimization, so it’s essential that they have all the right attributes to make them searchable.
Your creative copy includes the text on your homepage, any service pages you may have, useful resources like FAQs, user reviews (for social proof) and any blog posts, infographics, tutorials or other forms of content marketing you may want to use to improve your visibility and add to your brand’s value.
As well as being engaging, authoritative and (above all) useful to your target audience, you’ll need to think carefully about how your creative copy is formatted.
Nobody enjoys reading huge blocks of text. Use subheadings, bullet points and interspersed images to make your text easier to parse and mine for relevant information.
User Experience (UX)
Creative Website Design isn’t just about how your website looks, it’s about how it feels and handles when a user navigates it. Think of your website as a sports car. No matter how beautiful it looks, you wouldn’t want to drive it if it was apt to send you swerving all over the road!
The discipline of UX is all about making your website easy, intuitive and pleasant to navigate whether through a desktop interface or a mobile device. The latter is especially important since over 50% of users will experience your site for the first time through their smartphone.
How we can help
As you can see, creative website design is a rich and multifaceted discipline with a great many things to carefully consider. Designing your own website from scratch can be a huge challenge, especially without any coding knowledge.
At Easthall Design we do all the heavy lifting so you don’t have to! Trust our team to create a beautiful and easy to navigate website that serves as a glowing representation of your brand to drive awareness of your business and send conversion rates soaring!