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What do you need to think about when designing your website?

TAKE FIVE
You’re off!  You’ve got a great business idea, you’re raring to go and you need your website up and running now!  Before you rush ahead too quickly have a look at this week’s Take Five – Starting Out #3 – where we consider a number of things you need to think about in regard to your website and the questions you need to ask when designing (or engaging someone to design your site).  The points are also relevant to those companies who have a website up and running already but have neglected it somewhat!

Think about your website as your digital shop front – it’s often the first contact a potential customer has with you.  So what sort of impression are you giving?  Is it soooo “creative” that a visitor to your site will have absolutely no idea what it is you offer, what it’s all about or what you sell?  Is it chaotic and too difficult to find anything or is it laden down with corporate phrases and acronyms (yawn)?

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How easy is it to navigate your site?

People won’t go round the houses to find what they want and if they can’t find it easily, they’ll head off to another site that is easier to navigate.  Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes – what are they looking for and how quickly can they find – two clicks should be the maximum.

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What should I double check?

Mobile – Is your site mobile friendly? What does it look like on a smaller device?

Photographs – Are the photographs resized so the page load time is kept down?  Are they consistent in style?  All black and white or all colour?

Colours – Are the colours user-friendly?  What if your customer is colour blind or visually impaired?  Is there enough of a contrast between the colours?  Just because they’re your favourite colours doesn’t mean that they’re everyone else’s.  Ask someone to be honest with you!

Pop-Ups – if you’re using pop-ups (say for sign-ups) have you checked they’re not popping up too much, covering your content or are difficult to get rid of.

Text – Is your text too small or difficult to read?  Are you using the correct type of font (sans-serif fonts are easier to read online eg Arial or Verdana)?

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Is your content relevant and jargon-free?

Good content helps your customers connect with you and you communicate with them.  It provides continual awareness and exposure of your brand and products.  A website (and social media) gives you the ability to update your business news as it happens.

How can you attract new customers if they don’t know about you and what your business is about?

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Will I be able to update the site myself?

You may wish to send your changes over to your designer but if you’re confident that you can make the edits yourself, can you easily access the site platform to make those changes?  If it’s WordPress or something like Squarespace or Wix then you should ask for the login and password.  Before you start your new project it is a good idea to ask this question because if someone hand codes your site for you it could be that only they (or someone with technical knowledge) can edit and update it.  How many people do you know who understand html and css?

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Have you remembered your "Calls to Action"?

You’ve designed a great site and your customers love it but you’re making it really difficult for them to contact you.  Again, no one has the patience to trawl through a site or rummage through a cluttered page, so make sure that one call to action is obvious and easy to use.

Also try to ensure that other contact details are easy to find – phone number, email address, social media links, and general contact forms.  Don’t put too many obstacles in the way!

Think about your website as your digital shop front – it’s often the first contact a potential customer has with you.

Still not sure in which direction to go?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.