I have a thing for prettiness. I love pretty nails fresh from a badass technician. I love pretty clothes and shoes and handbags. I love lipstick and a load of girlie stuff.
On a more ‘serious note’, I am an artist and am the daughter of artists, raised on art and creative expression. I’ve drawn since my teenaged years, and still draw digitally creating avatars for Second Life.
As a graphic designer, I have a fundamental attraction to good design. However, I cannot describe my distress when I come across web sites that are badly designed, but have something I want, or a beautiful website that doesn’t do a damn thing for building my relationship with the owner beyond bland, homogenised and antiseptic narrative.
A website is more than good design. Neither are all designers equal. Designers make a ton of mistakes when making your website. They create visual wonders that can fall dramatically short of actually making you money.
Hence, your site is gorgeous and it hasn’t produced a single lead for you in five years. And you keep paying for it, but…
…it relies on Flash
…it takes ages to download
So broadband has made downloading most websites on a desktop or laptop just a joy (I remember 28.K dial up friends… painfully). Yet, many designers still don’t adequately design for mobile phones, even when the site is responsive to screen sizes. The fact is many people access the web via their phones and/or tablets, at speeds that can still be 2G or 3G. This means a 6MB photograph, and 500KB logo file on a web page is a torturous experience. Don’t do it. Optimise your images for the web, keeping all images down to their lowest possible KB.
…I can’t work out how to contact you
So your designer made your site so nice, they designed an interactive brochure. There is no ‘top-of-mind’ prompts or cues anywhere to CALL you, EMAIL you, BUY something or BOOK an appointment.
Some designers get so caught up in sexy website design they miss the point that it should be selling your products or services. Your design should keep your contact information in your potential customer’s ‘top-of-mind’ and make it easy and frictionless for potential clients and customers to get in touch with you. What’s the point otherwise?
…I can’t use it
If you are disabled, someone who is blind, partially-sighted or has difficulty with computer screens, a nice looking website is pointless to them. Making sure your website is accessible to the disabled, is a huge plus and boost to your SEO, as well as increases your chances of making a sale. Don’t dismiss the importance of adhering to usability standards.
…it doesn’t appear on the search engines (or anywhere else)
Ok… this one is for the Wix and Weebly fans: Most of the time, your customers cannot find you on these hosted platforms. And despite the fact that they made it super easy for you to make a good looking website without knowing any code, no one can find you on the Internet. Investing the time and money in a website design, only counts when your website marries itself to various online marketing channels.
FEEDBACK OR QUESTIONS?
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