The Key Elements to Consider For An Effective Website Design

A website is your digital storefront – an opportunity to make a lasting impression and establish your brand in the hearts and minds of your audience and by bearing in mind these essentials, businesses looking to make a name for themselves from the get-go can ensure they create websites that not only captivate and inspire but also drive meaningful results for their business.

As the Creative Director of Klioh Studio, I have had the privilege of working with many startups and new businesses (as well as many companies looking to re-brand) to create impactful, online experiences that drive engagement and foster connections.

In the dynamic landscape of website design, these are the essential principles that every entrepreneur should prioritise when building their online presence.

Brand First

The internet is an over–saturated place, and the competition, no matter what the sector, will always be high to grab the hearts and minds of potential customers. The way you are going to make your site stand out is by investing in the brand visuals and content. Take a step back, and focus on your brand strategy; Do you have a strong visual identity that builds brand awareness and is consistent across all digital touch points for your customer? Have you invested in content for the website that represents your brand and everything you do, in a way that's captivating and engaging? The imagery and video content you use for your website needs to align with your brand’s narrative – don’t rush this part of the process – it’s going to be the thing that grabs the user's attention when they first see your landing page.

Keep it simple

It can be tempting when building your website, to feel it is the space where you need to pack as much information as possible about your business and what you have to offer. But, this is a mistake – a user’s attention span is very, very limited, particularly when it comes to blocks of text. Your website won’t convert if you overcomplicate it with lots of text, complicated navigation and too many animations flying out at the user – it will overwhelm them, and they will lose interest fast. Keep it simple – focus on clear navigation and call to action, create negative space around all the elements so the design feels breathable – and focus on your key messaging and engaging visuals to keep your visitor engaged.

User Centric Navigation

The goal of a new business website is to drive action, whether it's making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting your team. Easy, responsive navigation is at the core of a well converting website. Create clear ‘Call to Actions’ across all key sections – with an accent colour to make sure they stand out. Ensure your mobile menu isn’t getting lost when on a smaller screen – keep it fixed as the user scrolls so they can always navigate away from where they are. Don’t create complicated paths for your user to action something and focus on the messaging for these actions. The paradox of choice is another problem, so don’t create too many options – keep the call to actions across the site under five so the user can quickly see what the next step is without feeling bombarded by options. 

Why speed page matters

According to research, you’ve got under five seconds to grab a user's attention when they land on your website. If four out of five of those seconds your website is loading on a blank screen – you’ve already lost that potential customer. Optimising the way your site runs is undeniably important for building trust and engagement with the user, and it’s easy enough to do with the right tools and guidance. Choose a website platform with high performing site speeds, ensure all of your images are the right size using online compressing tools and don’t overload the site with huge, long videos. There are also lots of great tools for testing your site speed that provide recommendations for improvement. Whilst not the most exciting part of building your new website, it is one of the most important to ensure the content you load and the experience is smooth, fast and easy to navigate, so don’t underestimate time needed for these details.

As a web design agency, we advise our clients on the best way to make a lasting impression with their website, and the first step to getting this right is always spending time on the strategy. Break it down into brand, content, navigation, design and optimisation – take each step carefully, and don’t over complicate or overcrowd – key, clear messaging and an interesting, clean design – will give your business the digital storefront it deserves.