Recently, I have come across several SME’s which have either no websites or old websites with terrible design. Two of the worst examples have been, sadly, for card design and event dressing companies. I say sadly as both these businesses are what I would class as visual industries, in which aesthetics are very important to display their products and services, demonstrating just how beautiful and attractive their work is, is a large part of attracting new clientele.
Beautiful creative designs
Over the last ten years web design has evolved in many ways. Notably, the use of graphics and photographs has increased in more recent designs, along with the use of video, all incorporated in a coherent, well laid out structure. Most of today’s websites tend to use creative yet simple structures, incorporating complementary colours, textures, panelled areas, and various fonts in the design. While older style websites display little design, large quantities of text, possibly laid out around one photograph, usually with a menu down the right hand-side and may contain animation which does not augment the design in anyway.
Photographs should be shot to fit in with the design of the website. Composition and quality of the photographs are very important to show your business off to its full potential, and photographs should be taken with this in mind. The proportions of the picture are key, especially for banner images, which may be long and narrow and have text overlaid in places, obscuring parts of the photograph. So many older sites have photographs stretched out of proportion, to fit the spaces they are required, which does not look good or give a good impression.
Photograph colours should be vivid and the contrast and brightness correct. A photographer or photo editor will make sure a photograph looks good in this way. A professional photographer may also take things away or add things, when either composing a shot or during the editing process making a photograph the best it can be. For example, I recently added a bush to cover a blue tarpaulin in a shot of a garden. I also whiten people’s eyes and teeth, and remove fine facial lines, in portrait shots. Even for images not integral to the page design, such as those in an image gallery, composition and quality are important, to show off your business to its full potential.
Web videos can be designed to fit with what your website is about, and produced professionally relatively cheaply. One of the worst things you can see on someone’s website is a homemade video which has been filmed ineptly on a mobile phone and uploaded to a website, without thought. This is not a good look if you are to attract clients in today’s aesthetic society. I would strongly recommend you employ a professional to film and edit your web videos, if you want to make a good impression.
Whats on the outside counts
This evolution, combining layout design and multimedia has made newly designed websites look more aesthetically pleasing, like pieces of artwork, capturing the audience, and enticing potential clients to interact. If you like how something looks, you are much more likely to trust the company and be persuaded to make a purchase, I myself have a few favourite sites which I use frequently, I would say it is the attractiveness and friendliness of their site design which has kept me returning, as let’s face it I could easily get most things I purchase online from Amazon.
Having your site designed or redesigned so that it looks attractive, professional, more modern and usable enhances your brand image and could potentially pull in many more clients, if marketed properly, than a badly designed site or no site at all.