Websites, in many ways, have become a necessary element for conducting business. The trend of which, continues to grow, as more and more people use the web to interact and transact with each other.
Yet, the more we’re around, the more we realise all websites aren’t made equally. Some are incredible, like mind blowing. And others, in our opinion, are really disappointing. As more and more people, move to the web, our ability to differentiate diminishes. Why? Because having a website itself no longer separates you, it’s now a matter of your User Experience, perhaps you could say, it’s the effectiveness of your website that matters.
How do you work out the effectiveness of a website? The real question to ask is, will this website help my audience help them solve their problems easily? Not just functionally will it work, but will it work well, will it be able to be done with easy, will it build anticipation around how you can help them solve their problems? All websites aren’t made equally.
With that what should you consider when considering a website design, or website redesign?
1 - Template or Custom Website?
This will likely be the biggest direct impact in cost. Template sites are generally quicker to build, yet they can compromise around the user experience, and brand alignment, especially so if the chosen template isn’t suitable for your requirements.
Custom sites allow you to have a fully integrated brand experience on your website. In simple terms, it means it won’t look like a template, but your very own unique piece of the internet.
2 - User Experience
Website don’t exist in a vacuum. Also, if you have any experience with people, you might have worked out that we tend to fall through the biggest holes. Meaning we’re more likely to be guided through things than we realise. In practice, if you have a goal for your website visitors, say a sign-up, enquiry or purchase, is your website designed in a way to help facilitate that, or does it make it harder.
A good measure of this is to ask someone who has never been on your site to navigate around, see how they use the page, and if they accomplish your goal. We tend to be masters of our own websites but that’s not true of others, and ultimately that's who the website is for.
3 - SEO
Don’t go getting a site designed without considering the impact around your search engine optimisation, and what the plan is going forward. If you don’t know, it could come back to bite you. You might get a new website, but in the process, you might lose your website rankings, meaning your new site is useful for nothing.
4 - Design Direction & Photography
Does your site look like your site? Or does it look like a catalogue of stock photos? I’m not ruling out the use of stock images, I’m just asking whether the images are appropriate for you. People relate to people. Having quality images of people just like your customers on your site, is an easy way to win. Why? At a subconscious, we’re building maps of understanding, and making assessments around quality and relevance.
5 - Brand & Message Alignment
We know it needs to look like your website, but does it sound like your website? That’s the question. Are they key messages you’re wanting to get across, coming through on your site. There might be the ‘right content’ there, but what about how it’s being positioned in people’s minds? Are you coming across as fun and friendly, or a bit boring? This is all important too.
6 - The Nature of Your Business
One common problem we see all the time is that people like tools. And people assume tools are the answer, when really we need to take a step back and question whether or not that is a right fit. If you’re a local coffee shop, investing big money in lead magnets and funnels probably isn’t going to pay dividends. Yet tools that are lost cost, and will build awareness, and generate trial. That’s something that’s useful. The same thinking applies to your website. It needs to make sense in the context of your business, not just assuming anything will work.