When it comes to your business, it’s so important to be able to focus on your online presence in the form of a website. Websites are like virtual stores, and a bad website won’t generate the results you want to achieve. To get the most out of your website development, the best thing to do is to think like a web page designer…
Why You Need To Think Like A Web Page Designer…
When you’re running a business you often have very clear ideas about how you want things to be. What you want done. The way you want to portray your brand and the products or services you offer.
This is completely normal. Your business is your baby, after all. But it can present a few problems when it comes to the creation of a website that actually does what you need it to do.
The three big things you have to contend with as a business owner trying to get a website designed are:
- The Burden Of Knowledge
- An Internal Perspective
- A Lack Of Specialist Knowledge
That may sound contradictory, since we’re saying you simultaneously know too much, and too little, but let us explain…
The Burden Of Knowledge…
This is something every business owner suffers from, and most never realise. You know what you do. You understand what you do. You are so intimately familiar with the inner workings of your business and the products and services you offer, that it feels like obvious information to you.
You’ve known it for so long and understand it so well, you genuinely can’t imagine other people being unaware of all you know about what you do.
This presents a huge problem when it comes to marketing yourself, because you assume your prospective customers know as much as you do, and they don’t.
You assume they understand what you do, why they need it, how it will help them, and why it’s worth the price you’re asking.
They really don’t.
Your website is there to explain all of that to them.
But you’re not going to want it to.
Because you already know it all, and it seems stupid to tell people a load of stuff that’s ‘obvious’.
An Internal Perspective…
You see your products and services from the perspective of someone offering them, not someone needing them. There’s a load of stuff you want to talk about, which, quite frankly, your customers don’t give a shit about.
Seriously, they don’t.
They never will.
You might find it infinitely fascinating to spend hours looking at the minutiae of what you do, but when it comes down to it, all your customers care about is whether or not it’s going to do what they need it to. How it’s going to make them feel to have it. The ways in which their life will be easier, better, safer, more fun, more successful, or whatever, once they have what you’re offering.
A Lack Of Specialist Knowledge…
You’re not a web designer.
If you were, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post.
Which means you don’t have specialist knowledge in web design and web development, and probably don’t know anything about SEO, copywriting, branding, or graphic design, either.
All these things are crucial to the creation of a successful website, and you don’t know what you’re doing.
That’s All Okay Though, Because You’re Hiring A Specialist…
So, yeah, you know way too much to have a realistic understanding of what prospective clients need to know. You see things from an inside-out perspective while your website needs to be created from a customer-centric perspective, and no matter how much you think you know about what your website needs to be, in all likelihood, you’re wrong.
What you do know, is what your website needs to achieve.
You need to think like a web developer for the simple reason that it requires you to throw out all your preconceived ideas about how your site should be, and consider what needs to be done in order to achieve your objectives.
As we’re designing and developing websites, we always start in the same place: objectives.
Do you need to rank on search engines?
Are you looking to grow your email list?
Do you have specific products to sell?
Do you need to book consultations?
Are you trying to land long-term clients for an ongoing service?
There are likely a million things you want to put on your website because you think it will look cool, or you’re super proud of it, or you’re seriously interested in it, or you could talk about it for hours.
But that’s YOU, the business owner.
What your website actually NEEDS are optimising for search, plenty of opportunities and incentives for people to subscribe to your list, an integrated eCommerce system, an online booking system, and highly effective sales pages.
Everything that goes into your new website needs to be objective-driven.
And you don’t naturally think like that as a business owner, because you have the burden of knowledge, and an internal perspective, and lack the specialist skills needed to create a successful website.
That’s all okay though, because as long as you understand that, and can work with your website designer with that understanding, you can create a highly functional website that achieves everything you need and still looks and feels like the site you envisioned.
How To Think Like A Web Page Designer…
Now you know why you need to think like a web page designer, we can explore how to…
Pay Attention To UX And UI…
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) should be your first thought to ensure good web design.
Modern SEO is driven by UX and UI over and above everything else – if you want to rank, you need to forget what you want things to look like and how you want them to look, and let your web designer create something that gives your users what they want. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with a website that doesn’t function well for your users, which is a complete waste of time and resources.
Your users are the most important to please, as without them, what does your business have? No, really, without your users and customers you’re ultimately set up for failure.
Learn From Example…
You can always learn from looking at examples and seeing how you can recreate them. This doesn’t mean create exact copies of what you see, but instead focus on key elements which work well and see how they can be applied to your own website to work for your business.
But Demand Originality…
It’s good to look at current trends, competition, the latest design methods etc. but straight up copying other designers or sites is a huge no-no. The key is to be inspired by others, combine what you see elsewhere to create something even better.
You can take individual aspects from other designs, but ensure to always customise to make it work for you. Without originality, your design won’t be something to be proud of, but merely a website which sits in the shadow of the original creation. Not only that, what works perfectly for one business may not work at all for you, uniqueness is paramount.
To think like a designer, you must begin to question why things are created the way they are. Reverse engineering everything you see is a great way to get into the mindset of a designer. For example, when you see advertisements, billboards, websites etc. you should think about why specific colours and fonts have been used, or why certain images have been crafted into the design. Questioning everything in a design helps you to understand more about creative decisions and allows you to get out of your own head of what you think your website should be.
Efficiency And Optimisation Demand Sacrifice…
There are certain things that we just have to do in order to properly optimise a site. That might be ensuring the colours for fonts correctly contrast with the background enough, or making sure file sizes are as small as possible so the page loads fast enough. Could be a million things. A lot of the time it’s not stuff you necessarily want to do, it’s just stuff that has to be done.
You may need to sacrifice some of your ideas and ideals in order to create a page that works as well as it needs to.
That is not to say that there’s no way around things, there usually is, but you need to give your web developer the freedom to come up with a solution that does what you want while still achieving what you need. That may mean compromising, and it may mean making certain sacrifices, like the specific colour you wanted a title to be, or the inclusion of a huge number of really big images.
Think In Code…
Watch Design Trends…
To think like a designer, you need inspiration. You should see which designs are popular and think why they are doing well. Identify trending designs and analyse them as much as you can, what’s been well created and what can be improved on. These design trends change all of the time, making it important to keep up to date with the times so as to not be inspired by an out-dated design which could have been so much better. Try to pinpoint new designs which you’ve not spotted before and twist them to work well for your business.
If you haven’t quite grasped the mindset of a web designer just yet, don’t worry, it takes years of practice to perfectly hone the skills required. Can’t wait that long and need a website created soon? Contact us below for a free consultation – we have a full team with specific skills, to ensure you don’t have to learn a whole new skillset.
Our Junior Copywriter Shann Greenway is a creative wordsmith. Blogging is her passion, and she spends most of her time writing and editing. As a self-confessed music addict, she loves reviewing albums and interviewing artists, a hobby and skill which transfers well into her role here.