Last week, we featured an interview with Jaeda Rohner, Soulheart’s lead designer. She gave us a brief introduction to the big ideas behind website design – what makes it work and what goes into creating a beautiful and functional website. One of the key themes in her interview is that there is more to design than design.
The idea is that a website can be beautiful – but beauty is not the only goal in the design process. Functionality plays an equally essential role in the appearance of a website. To achieve both beauty and functionality, we must remember that there is more to design than design. Today, we’ll look at three considerations all designers have that go beyond the artistic process of design.
1. Viewer’s Experience
People make a judgment about a website within the first 10 seconds that they visit. This means that the first page that they see should be very compelling visually. The key to turning that 10 seconds into 2 minutes (an eternity in web-time) is prioritizing the viewer’s experience, which is anchored in quality design.
Essentially, a quality user experience is one in which a user is able to find on your website what he or she was looking for. Because of this, a quality website design prioritizes the navigational aspects of a site. The design revolves around these components to ensure that the viewer has a great experience.
2. Purpose of Each Page
Every page on a website has a specific purpose. If it’s a blog, your goal might be to share new information about a company that establishes trust. Sometimes, you want to sell products or services. If it’s a homepage, your aim is to to create interest so that people click around the website to discover more.
The design must be built around the specific purpose of a page. We don’t want to have a Shopify page that has a detailed background behind the product listings, which would take the focus from the products. Instead, the design should be created around the call to action (CTA), a prompt to the viewer to respond to the webpage in a specific way. For a blog, the CTA might be to subscribe to a newsletter. If that’s the case, the design should carry the viewer’s eye to the subscribe button. When a designer keeps the purpose of each page in mind, the result will be a greater conversion rate because the appearance will be aligned with the goal of the webpage.
3. Brand Cohesiveness
Brand cohesiveness means that all pages on a website, social media posts, and other sources of information about your brand look like they belong together. Your brand should have a distinctive look so that viewers begin to associate certain colors, imagery, or fonts with your company. This builds user recognition and trust — it shows that you believe in your company and your values by affirming them in everything that you do.
For a designer, creating a brand guide – a document that identifies the colors, fonts, key images, as well as voice and values – is an essential step in establishing cohesiveness. In addition to making the design process a lot faster by helping you not have to make new decisions about colors etc. every time you add a new page on your website, it provides a standard by which you can judge the over cohesiveness of the brand.
© Soulheart 2019, all rights reserved