I’m often asked how to design a website. Invariably and quite often is the case, that this question actually means ‘how do you produce a bespoke website?'
So, how do you design, create and/or produce great websites?
I’m not talking about how to make an award-winning website here, which I’ve been asked often since we won our web awards throughout 2017 and 2018. I’m simply giving expert knowledge about how best to approach a website project
for those businesses who simply want a great website. A website solution that delivers their brand, their business, products and services.
Before I share my expertise, I'd like you to take a moment and think about what it is that you want from your own website.
Online purchasing decisions
Every business should have an online presence, a high percentage of consumers will make their purchasing decisions
based upon online research. Statistics range from 80% 90% and 97% .
How many of these percentages are people visiting your website?
What we know, according to Search Engine Land (as of 2016), is that 73% of purchase decisions begin with research
conducted on either Google or Amazon.
And so, it amazes me that even today, business owners simply don’t get the importance of having a great website.
Start converting from your website – arrange your consultation
Worse yet, they don’t understand how significant and damaging it can be to their business if they have a website
that is designed and developed poorly.
I trust you understand, given that you’re reading this article!
An investment, not a cost
Like staff, a website is an investment, not a cost. Thus, any investment should give a good return.
Whether you’re selling products, services or simply want to impart information, you should have an idea for what the
website’s objectives are:
Lead generation for service based business
If you’re a service based business then you should want to generate leads for your business. Quality leads, leads that
are trackable and importantly give you enough information about a particular users requirements.
Discover more about generating leads and sales
Direct sales for product led business
A product based website should generate revenue immediately. The aim is to funnel users to the point of sale
with absolute ease whilst leaving a positive experience during and after payment.
Information based websites
Information based websites probably don't require these ‘call to actions.’ The objective, one would assume (everyone is different), is to provide
users with a continual and logical stream of information that is readily available and accessible. Feeding and presenting
recommended content to the user when he/she subconsciously expects it.
All of these types of websites have one thing in common. Usability.
Usability is what makes a website great.
For a website to be great requires great usability. Usability can take on many forms and page load speed is one
of the most critical.
53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
3 seconds! Wow.
This means that if your website’s user experience is not ‘fast’ from the beginning, then you’ve already lost 47%
of your potential customers.
How we achieve fast page load speeds and great usability usually starts with analysis.
The analysis of your existing
website, and/or if you have a new website then the analysis of content and data that makes up your site.
This is labelled 'website audit' and we ensure that a full website audit is actioned and analysed before any design work is carried out.
If you have a new brand or business that requires a new website, then a full content and site map consultation
would be undertaken first.
Following these key starting points, your website project really gets exciting!
The Website Design Process
About the Author
Chris Heighton / Creative Director
I've been an Artworker, Graphic Designer, Web designer and Creative Director for over 15 years now. My specialisms are brand identity and responsive website design (UX and UI) with a focus on
the creation, development and launch of online products and businesses.
Starting off in screen printing whilst at college, I managed to get myself into the design industry and quickly became
a fairly good designer. Working as a middle-weight designer for five years with a Nottingham based agency on brands such as Marconi Telecommunications, Siemens and Avaya Technologies
I then headed south.
Finding my feet in a design agency based in Caterham, Surrey who specialised in both the property and pension markets. Four years plying my trade here and working on great projects
for companies such as HSBC, Barclays, Crest Nicolson, Quintain Estates and Linden Homes led me to make the move into the freelance world.
Seven years on I've now developed my freelance business into this company 5and3, joining forces with partner Simon Dawson / Technical Director to deliver an award-winning full service creative and website agency
If you'd like to get in touch, then feel free to call 01342 837811 or tweet me @chris5and3.