There comes a time in every business owners life when they decide to create a new website or to improve the site they have. Often times this is followed by hours of thought at the coffee shop, late nights drinking your favorite craft beer, and long hours at the corporate office. You’ve spent so much time thinking about all the features you need, what the design should look like, and refining your overall “vision”. By now you have the perfect understanding of what your customer needs, right? Probably not!
The problem with this thinking is that your customers are like you. No matter how well you know your clients, there is a lot you probably do not know about web design, user interface design, and user experience design. All of these are studies corresponding to how users psychologically understand how to use things like websites. Take that login form for example. It seems to always be the same (or incredibly similar). Users have come to know it, and changing it can be incredibly bad for user experience.
If you know your customer but you don’t know the web, what should you do? Simple, trust your web designer and management team. They have spent thousands of hours learning about user interaction and best practices. Most likely they are designed for the visitor and not the client (you). This is because, at the end of the day, the website needs to be usable for everyone. Your ideas may be great but that doesn’t mean they are great in everyone’s eyes. Even with perfect UX/UI, it is possible for some users to get confused. Luckily using your designers’ expertise will minimize those issue.
So what are some basic principals you can follow if you want to be involved in the design process?
- Less is more. Users want you to get to the point, make buttons obvious, and keep things clean.
- Organize things into sections. You don’t need a ton of pages, you need a few pages with several well-thought sections.
- Keep it simple. 1-2 fonts, 2-3 colors, and images are a plus.
- Keep in mind that there are other factors. Load times affect Google organic ranking, so you want to keep it minimal on the media content. SEO needs to be done for each page and keeping a good structure makes your site easier to crawl. There is much more but I will leave that for another topic.
At the end of the day, we want you to be involved with your design. Keep in mind what I’ve said above and spend less time thinking about making things complex and more time on making things complete.