Great web design requires combining traditional marketing wisdom with the latest technology and design trends. The infographic below from LA Website Design does a nice job of showing how these considerations fit together in effective modern website design.
Crucially, the infographic starts with “your target audience.” That needs to be the starting point for any new website or website redesign project. Elements like color, navigation flow, and special features will play roles in any website design project, but the decisions you make in each area will vary considerably based on your target audience.
Graphic design, website structure, and technology choices will be much different for a website targeted at lawyers than for one aimed at IT professionals or new parents.
Here’s how to mesh established marketing concepts with current tech and design trends to create a great business website.
Timeless Website Design Considerations
Although tools, trends, and technology have evolved considerably over the past decade, the four core elements of website design written about here 10 years ago remain the same:
- Technology (Platform): The vast majority of business websites today are built on either WordPress or HubSpot, but there are other content management system (CMS) alternatives worth considering.
- Graphic Design: As the infographic notes, the psychology of color is a key consideration in website design generally, and even more specifically for creating effective landing pages. It’s also a great idea, as the infographic suggests, to explore well-designed websites outside of your industry for inspiration. And of course, you’ll want to avoid making common website design mistakes.
- Information Architecture: This is the flow or navigational structure of your site. It’s a key component of the overall user experience (UX) on your site, as well as playing a role in search engine optimization (SEO). The overriding objective is to make it as easy and logical as possible for your site visitors to find the exact information they are looking for.
- Content: Your home page needs to tell visitors succinctly and clearly what you do, who you do it for, and what makes your company special. From there, your content should align with the information needs of each key audience for your website (prospects, current customers, investors, partners, analysts, the media, etc.). For prospects, the information should be focused on telling them what they need to know in order to want to buy from or work with you.
Leading Edge Ideas in Website Design
While certain basic principles remain the same, trends, technology, and design priorities change constantly. Three of the considerations illustrated in this infographic focus on the importance of staying current:
- Flexibility: Long gone are the days of static “brochure-ware” websites. Today’s most effective sites are dynamic, engaging, and designed to be kept constantly updated. To enable that flexibility, utilize a combination of different types of tools for designing and optimizing websites, from tools for colors, font, and icons to plugins to keyword research apps.
- Mobile Friendliness: This isn’t only about UX. Of course your website should look great, load fast, and be as easy to use on a smartphone as on a desktop computer. But because Google now uses mobile-first indexing for most websites, this also plays a critical role in SEO.
- Security: Your customers have become much more tech-savvy over time. Unfortunately, hackers have gotten more sophisticated as well. They use a broad array of tools and techniques to steal money and data from you and your customers. Large companies have invested in cutting-edge data security tools like UpGuard to protect their organization’s sensitive data, but even small to midsized companies need to understand how to protect their businesses from cyberattacks.
Check out this infographic for more information on what to consider when designing a great website today.