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Why web design is important?
I don’t know what you think Web Design is and how important it is for the viability of a firm but personally I cannot think of a serious business that doesn’t have a website. Just, ask yourself this:
How will someone find out about your company and visit, mail or call you when they need your services?
No one is going to walk the streets looking for the product or service they want. No one is going to look for you in the Yellow pages anymore. The most cautious buyers do their online research and buy what they want from the comfort of their home. But even if they are on the road, they will simply google what they need and head to one of the stores that will appear on their mobile screen.
The bottom line is that businesses from the smallest to the largest need a functional website to ensure recognition and growth and this makes Web Design the most important investment for any business.
From a simple website that maybe just one page to the most amazingly designed website that allows the user to interact, let’s see what it takes to design the most appropriate site for your needs.
What Is Web Design?
Web design doesn’t differ from the design of a store in the real world.
You would look for an architect to explain how you imagine your store, how much money you plan to spend, what your brand represents, who your customers are.
The architect, armed with creativity but also having in mind the proper functioning of the business, will make and show you an original design of your store. This design includes indoor and outdoor areas, from the customer service area, the meeting room and your offices to the parking lot.
In the same way, a web designer will be inspired to create the layout of a functional website with its basic elements, such as
- Τhe Home Page, your storefront,
- The Product/Services pages, your store shelves
- The About Us page, your information center
- The Contact Us page, your communication office
- The Eshop interface, your checkout
- and any other page you may need depending on your business.
Web Page Design: The main features
Since web design is essentially the presentation of content on web pages where end-users have access through a web browser, it uses many of the same basic visual elements as all design types.
The way the content is arranged. Graphics, text, advertisements, anything should be placed in such a way that the visitor finds the information he is looking for at a glance.
Choosing colors is not a simple matter. Taking into account the psychology of colors but also that the page always conveys the personality of an individual or the brand of an organization, the final color palette is selected based on the purpose of the page and the targeted audience.
Graphics, with the logo first and foremost, can include photos, clip-art images, icons and more generally everything that serves and improves the aesthetics and final design of a website. However, the web designer must select or create the appropriate graphics, perfectly harmonized with the color and content of the website and place them in the appropriate places, achieving absolute user-friendliness.
On the one hand, choosing the right fonts can improve or even enhance the design of a website. Unfortunately, most web browsers can only read a limited number of fonts, known as “web-safe fonts”, so they must be chosen very carefully.
Content is king and design must in every way enhance the message of the site through visuals and text. The big question here is whether the company knows the content they want to get on the page or should the web designer create it. In any case, the written text should always be relevant and useful without confusing the reader and keeping him as much as possible on the site. Of course, you should not forget that content should always be optimized for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords.
What is the difference between a web developer and a web designer?
Web designers have the primary role of creating a design that incorporates the best possible user experience by creating a welcoming user interface.
I initially likened the web designer to an architect and I had a very good reason for that. You see, the architect is essentially an artist, the most suitable to create the most amazing designs that will enchant the public. But nothing will stand if a civil engineer does not undertake the construction since he knows statics and if what the architect finally designed is really feasible.
Back now to our main story, normally the web designer will design the website using software tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Framer, or Sketch. He will present what he made to the client and after they reach the desired result, the web developer will take over.
There are extremely talented individuals who are equally capable in both tracks but we are usually dealing with teams working together and creating a website from scratch.
How much does it cost to design a website?
At the end of the day, you don’t care if one or ten people handle the creation of your site. You will pay to get the best possible result.
It is the general rule that we don’t get things of value unless we are willing to pay a price. I am not saying that it is bad to look for a low-cost web design deal but if you choose a company or individual that promises a functional site with 250 euros, then good luck with that.
I think so far I have described in as much detail as necessary the design and construction process and now it is time to find out what distinguishes the amateur from the professional.
UX: User Experience and User Experience Design
The products have users and the user gains an experience from using the product. UX web design is the art of designing web pages to provide the best possible user experience.
What the UX design includes is simply endless. From understanding psychology and detailed interaction planning to user research and the use of advanced statistics and many other scientific disciplines. And all this will determine the top three optimal elements of a website.
The use of all graphics, images and text to harmonize the values of the user with those of the brand, building credibility and trust. A page should not just look good, but above all, it should look right.
The interaction between visitor and site should be as enjoyable and meaningful as possible. At the same time, we take into account not only the reactions they have when they land on the page but also when leaving.
The appearance of a page says nothing if it doesn’t serve its purpose. If it is let’s say an online store you want to achieve the most sales possible.
If the user struggles to figure out how to buy what you are selling then the page has failed. The site should always be personalized to the needs of the users and provide functionality according to what they expect and not what you think suits them.
SEO website design
No matter how good a website looks, it is not going to excite any search engine without SEO. It is not just the keywords but countless technical and practical details that will judge if the site will appear on their first pages. Of course, Google is the dominant one and without meeting its standards, the page has no luck.
There are over two hundred parameters according to which Google ranks web pages but one of the most important signals that a site is worth the first places, is the average time a user stays on a page and how much he or she interacts with it.
SEO is a huge asset that can not be bypassed and is a criminal error when not included in the first steps of designing a website.
If you didn’t know, for quite some time now Google has been looking first at how a site adapts to the mobile screen and then the desktop version, while very soon, probably in the middle of 2021, it will rank the websites based only on the mobile version. How could they do otherwise since about 80% of users visit the pages through their mobile?
Unfortunately, the desktop version doesn’t automatically convert to mobile. In the first place, a separate design is required according to all the principles I described, while once again, a programming code will be needed for the conversion. And if Google of things is not enough to convince you, think about UX and what it means if the page is not functional on mobile. You guessed it, the user will leave and will probably not visit your page again.
Study case: Best website design practices in action
We have said a lot but let’s look at a real example of proper website design and what it means for the business.
I do not know if you have visited Greece but it is not considered by chance one of the most beautiful summer vacation destinations. And if a part of it has won the most impressions is Crete, the country of Minos.
When Hotel Georgia approached us, the first meeting took place at its premises and we were more or less open-mouthed. Personally, it was one of the most beautiful hotels I have seen and your stay there was enough to convince you of the quality of its services.
But there was a very important problem. They had almost zero online presence and were completely dependent on travel agencies while spending huge sums on advertising.
The design process
We called our photographer and spent an incredible weekend at the hotel with a lot of brainstorming, interviews, customer surveys, gathering the photographic material we needed but mostly gathered experiences, we became the travellers, the people who chose this hotel among so many others to spend their holidays in Greece.
On Monday we started designing the website. After a couple of weeks we have delivered a minimal website to match the look of the hotel but at the same time to show the luxurious services both with the content and with the graphics and colors we chose.
Of course, our main concern was not just building a beautiful site but something that would rise high in the Google rankings. At the same time we had to unhook it as much as possible from travel agencies and it should be suitable for online advertising that pays off.
Following ALL the procedures of proper web design we created:
- A clean minimal website that conveys the message and the aesthetics of the hotel
- All content, image and text, created by us after SEO market research and in-depth analysis of competitors and targeted audience
- We have adopted an independent booking system on the page accompanied by PMS and CRM systems
- An absolutely user-friendly interface that supports all of the above
- An absolutely web responsive design with which the user has easy access to all services and most importantly can book a room in just a few steps
But we did not stay in the design part. Since everything was created in such a way as to fully support Social Media and Google Ads, the hotel management trusted us with this part as well, while we also undertook the creation of a newsletter to keep in touch with hotel guests.
Just one month after the website went live, we achieved a significant increase in brand exposure, ROA and traffic. However, the hotel really appreciated the work we had done from the direct bookings, since their total investment in both web design and advertising paid off immediately.
But the biggest success is the ever-increasing number of visitors, which is easily converted into direct bookings, saving on unnecessary advertising costs and travel agency commissions.
If you also want tips for your website or a company to create your corporate presence on the internet, do not hesitate to contact us.