The Most Important Element of Good Web Design

A Simple Quiz

Raise your hand if you know the answer to the question above. Do you think you have the best answer? What makes web design great?

Ok, now that you look a bit crazy sitting in front of your phone/laptop/digital connection medium of choice with your arm raised, let’s explore some potential answers. There are some good ones.

Is the most important element that a website is up to today’s design standards? Not exactly. While this is helpful and even dare I say “essential”, it certainly is not as critical as what I am about to reveal. A design should definitely not look like it belongs in the 1990’s, and for the purposes of a website experience, and even for appearing on Google, needs to be mobile-responsive.

Ok – how about that the website’s colors are harmonious, in sync and use complimentary color palettes? My apologies to our friends at Colourlovers, but this isn’t the most critical element.

Sure, both of these answers are important but neither is the most important element of web design. So then, what is the answer?

Good Website Design Solves Problems

It really is that simple.

If you own a website, it should solve a problem. Even if yours has no other reason for existence than to showcase hundreds of images of your Golden Retriever, Misty. The problem that needs solving in this case is how to showcase your dog to the world. I would argue that there are better methods to solving this “problem” than by building a dedicated website for Misty, but I digress.

To repeat: The purpose of a business website is to solve a business problem you have.

The vast majority of the time, this problem centers around cashflow/making money/earning a living or a similar goal. The website’s purpose then will be to attract customers, to buy your products, or for portfolio websites to attain credibility within your field.

An effective website design works to help solve this problem by making your products or services easy to purchase (UX design), the website easy to navigate, and look professional and attractive (UI design). Here is a great article on the difference between the two. When many new business owners envision good web design they are only picturing the latter of these two design elements, forgetting that it is critical that their website’s products can be easily purchased, that their business message is clear online, that their product’s pricing structures are easy to locate and that their merchant system is secure.

This is why when you work with us, if you have an eye for design and you fall in love with a certain color palette, a specific font, or want the buttons to be a certain size and all written in Bradley Hand, we may make alternative suggestions. This is not because we do not value your design idea. It is because we value your business success. We want your clients and your customers to purchase your products. We want to help solve your problem, which will be reflected in an effective website design.

If there is one take-home message you can remember from reading this post, here it is:

Good design looks good. Great design looks good and sells.

What’s Your Brand?

How Do I Get Noticed?

Many of our clients have downright awesome business models. We have noticed that many of their top customers do as well. I’m continually impressed by some of what I am seeing these days.

Of course, selling products and making use of effective online marketing strategies are both important endeavors. As part of our research we make sure that our clients’ social and mobile marketing pushes reflect and exceed their industry’s standards. In other words, we are paying attention!

However, if our clients’ branding was not also effective this would never be enough. Sure, you can sell water to a fish if you have the right personality and perseverance, but who can sustain the type of pace required for this to be a good, sole long-term strategy? It is exhausting!

For those who are new to the concept of branding, this is where the magic of customer trust comes in. If you have a memorable image you have solved a huge percentage of the marketing battle.

But how do you create a brand? Well, we are here to help!

How Do I Make My Business Memorable?

If you have spent any time on this site you will notice the theme pretty quickly. The climbing/Colorado/outdoorsy image of the company speaks pretty loudly. It is on our website, our business cards, our emails and our social profiles. It is to the point where after working with us for a short time I get clients asking me questions about new climbing routes near Denver. Our image does leave an impression.

How does your logo look to you, and what does it say about your business? If you are not sure ask a few friends or neural third parties to make a list of 10 adjectives/verbs to describe your company logo. Things like “Bold” or “Angry” or even “Ocean”. Do their responses fit the image you are trying to convey to your clients?

Does My Message Fit My Brand?

In addition to your company logo do you have a tagline? If not, what would you say to a prospective client about what it is that you do or sell? This goes for freelancers as well as business owners. The size of your company doesn’t matter. Prospectives will be interested in what you sell.

Coming up with something catchy and memorable isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but we recommend taking a look at the image you are conveying with your logo. How can you tie this into your message?

What Comes Across in My Marketing Materials?

If you were paying attention in the last decade you may remember the Geek Squad’s fleet of VW Bugs roaming the roads. They used their cars to create an image that was incredibly memorable. They drive around in Prius now, fitting the times better, and helping the environment. But the initial image did wonders for their image and ultimately bottom line.

Do you have an every day item you use that can be doubled in your marketing efforts? And I am not talking about ordering envelopes with your company logo. that should probably exist by default if it is in your budget. Seriously, try it. Come up with 5 items you use every day that could conceivably be used to market your services. Then cut all but one of them. All of us have a lot of bad ideas before coming up with some good ones. This is perfectly fine!

Branding Help

We would love to give you a free consultation if you are looking for that neutral third party to assess your brand. Feel free to schedule a meeting with us and we would love to meet with you to learn more about your business! We will even buy you some coffee 😉