Web design for marketers
The website should be designed for the target audience of your product, service or information. Initially the design should be based on an educated guess of what your audience wants. After that statistical analysis and user feedback should tell you what your customers want.
Effective web design makes content the priority. The artwork will compliment the content and direct the visitor to it, but will not overwhelm it. The successful site will be:
- easy to read,
- easy to navigate
- easy to find through search engines, and electronic, mobile and printed communication
- consistent throughout in layout and design
- quick to download
Key questions to keep in mind when writing content for a website:
- Why should the customer visit your website? Usually the answer will be for information: tips, how-to sections, benefits to customers, etc.
- Why should the customer return to your website? Customers will often not purchase on their first visit, thus include updated pages, news, upgrades, etc.
- What separates you from your competition?
The key design elements available to convey your message to the visitor are: fonts and typefaces, headings, font size, bold, underline, italics, bullet points, text colours, background and highlight colours, white space, logos, icons, thumbnail images, photos, background images, dividing lines and horizontal rules, and mastheads or page titles. All of these elements have limited use, restricted by browser settings and preferences and technology. These elements should be used to:
- create an appealing design that is also easy on the eyes,
- emphasise, highlight and lead the eye to important points or links,
- identify recurring themes or differentiate between distinct themes,
- symbolise and trigger emotions and associations.
The website should be designed to the lowest visitor technical specification unless a specific technical solution is required. For example, Flash animations should not be used unless they add a value to the user experience that cannot be delivered in a simpler format, all flash file should have plain text descriptions.
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