Creative Website Design | Are you proud of your website? You should be!
Creative Website Design | We hate to trash one of your childhood maxims, but people do judge books by their covers. And in internet terms, your book cover is your website. If you’re a small business owner, your website is the central hub of your business, and it’s a key part of your marketing and branding. Your website is your storefront, your calling card, your pick-up line. Potential clients visit your website specifically for its content, meaning its appearance and usability are critical to its success and how those users view your business.
When the internet emerged more than 25 years ago, the first websites were like a magical land of unicorns and casinos, full of scrolling marquee text, flashing lights and bright sparkles. It felt like a visit to the Red Light district every time a user connected to the brave new Internet World via modem at the mind-blowing speed of 14k. In the last 25 years the internet has changed substantially, and consumer behavior has changed even more. Websites now dominate the way we communicate, the way we shop, and the way we make decisions both online and also in the face-to-face world. Much like fashion, website design is constantly evolving with trends and fads coming and going. When it comes to creating a website that will make a professional impression, you will always do well to keep everything up to date and on trend.
Anyone who uses the internet on a daily basis knows what characteristics they like in a website. Your favorite websites are typically easy to navigate and offer the information, products or services you want in a quick and easy-to-find manner. There’s nothing like a cluttered, clunky website to drive away potential clients. How can you make your website an enticing place?
Keep it clean and clutter-free | Creative Website Design
Remember that you have just five seconds to explain your value proposition to users when they enter your website. The back button is the most widely used command on the web. If you don’t answer a potential client’s needs right away, they will click “back” and exit your website. We all know at least one small business website that seems to include everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. Many small business owners tend to stuff as much as they can onto a single page, and the end result is a busy, cluttered and unreadable page.
Keep it simple. This is the number one rule of any design, whether you work in digital or print media. There’s no need for extra bells and whistles on a website. Embracing things like flat design and white space can do wonders for your site visitor’s experience. Try to keep everything simplistic or even minimal with only your most important content spotlighted. Sometimes less really is more.
Keep Featured Products Above the Fold | Creative Website Design
Display products you’re proud of or photographs that pop off the screen. Don’t bury the main point. Put the most important information on your homepage and secondary information only a click away. When asked for their top design tips, almost all the Web designers immediately said: Put your call to action in the upper portion of your website, along with your phone number and/or email address.
Use color strategically | Creative Website Design
Color and contrast aren’t usually high up on the list of priorities for a small business owner when it comes to designing a website. But it should be, because if your website text does not have enough contrast compared to its background, visitors will have difficulty reading your content, especially people with poor vision or color-blindness. Use complementary colors that make your text easily readable. Clashing colors such as red text on a blue background make text too hard to read and turn off visitors.
Using a mostly neutral color palette can help your site project a professional, elegant, clean and modern appearance. Employing small dashes of color for headlines or key graphics helps guide visitors to your most important content. It is also important to use a color palette that complements your logo and is consistent with your other marketing materials.
Forget Flash | Creative Website Design
There was a time not so long ago that the most visually stunning websites were created with Flash. But that’s no longer the case. Thanks in part to the ongoing dispute between Adobe and Apple, the days of Flash as an Internet standard are slowly coming to a close, so why stay on the bandwagon when there are other options that are much more web and user friendly? Flash websites keep a business from attracting the growing base of customers on iOS mobile devices that don’t support Flash, and they produce a slow and unresponsive user design that frustrates customers and costs your business sales. Instead, use HTML5. HTML5 is gaining more support on the Web, with search-engine friendly text and the ability to function on many of the popular mobile operating systems without requiring a plug-in.