Web design is not just about aesthetics. While looks count for a lot in design, functionality is just as key. A strong design will also convert visitors into customers and it impresses those who have clicked on it. If a design can’t accomplish these things, it’s not good for much.
How we value and define ‘good design’ varies per person. There are some who will value aesthetics and appearance above all else. Then, there are those who will invest more weight in how easy it is to use. A designer needs to appeal to every person’s definition of ‘good design’, satisfying expectations of appearance while delivering easy navigation.
To win a customer’s business, a design company needs to excel at all of the critical elements of what makes good design. Boiling it down to its basic element, design is about solving problems and in doing so, presenting the solution in most aesthetically pleasing presentation possible. Deciding on what colors to use, how the navigation will function, what typography is best, and ensuring that the message is clear are at the centre of a successful design approach.
If you don’t know where to start in crafting your design, start with the solution. Defining the problems that need to be solved and how to get there can provide insight into the best aesthetic presentation. Choosing the aesthetics are a wonderful place to begin building a design as these choices are what will begin transforming a website to what it could be. By trying different aesthetic approaches, you may also discover what works for navigation.
When discussing design, there’s always exceptions to the rule that appearances matter. For example, Craigslist does not look particularly pleasing to the eye from a design perspective yet it gets the job done for those who visit it. Today, Craigslist’s easy navigation and usability have made it a favourite among many users across the world. By keeping things simple and knowing its audience, this website has seen massive success. That said, a basic, no-nonsense design like this is not going to work for everyone. Can you imagine visiting a site from a fashion brand like Nike and having their design appear as basic as Craigslist – most would leave the site immediately and never come back. This shows how important it is to know your audience.
In knowing your audience, a designer must be able to successfully predict what emotions their design will stir. This is where color and placement come into it but it goes even beyond this. Website technology allows a designer to implement different ways to please a visitor’s expectations and capitalize on a first impression. As evidenced, element presentation and the technology that supports it goes beyond just appearances and creates emotion from the visitor.
Why it’s important that your website looks its best is the same reason why any businessperson would want to look their best before heading into a sale. Your website represents your brand and your product or services. When you look your best, it makes people care and lets them know that you’re credible. As pointed out, design is more than just a snazzy look. By knowing how to structure navigation to convert visitors, an aesthetically pleasing web design goes a step further than just appearances and comes through on its purpose – which is to grow your business.