Within the last five or so years we have seen a huge focus set on the design of one’s websites in the business arena to attract new opportunities. I like to call this the Apple effect. Apple started to create beautiful devices and computers and this millennial generation value looks and feel of a design far more in choosing to purchase a product or use a particular brand than with previous generations. Other brands such as Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, etc have followed suit with popular design trends to offer products that not only look incredible, taste great, feel great but offer a demand and necessity to have a particular product or use a particular service of theirs.
Moving away from big corporate industries and how they use designs of products to increase revenue. Most small to medium size businesses are seeing how these big powers have such influence and utilising some of these design techniques into their online and offline marketing to increase their businesses revenue stream.
One important factor is that if you have an office you try to keep things tidy and look good for you clients visiting. In designing a website this is just as important as this is a 24/7 storefront for your business. We as consumers still look for that professional feel across all mediums whether we are visiting you in person, seeing the designs of your business cards or leaflets and your website.
So what is Design?
Design is a service that is offered usually by graphic designers or product designers. Design is a service that allows you to see how a website, business card, leaflet, vehicle decals, clothing, products, etc is to look prior to the finished online or offline product is made.
Have designs or mock-ups created prior to the main build will allow you to see how it will look. This can help reduce cost as design is normally a digital service which can easily be altered. For example, if you pay for your logo to be put on your new workwear but when you receive the finished garments the logo looks poor quality, this costly mistake could have been picked up at the design stage.
In terms of web design, this is just as important. Getting a graphic designer to create you a full mockup prior to building a fully functioning website will help you minimize costs, help you get a website that will appeal to your site visitors and let you have greater design/brand influence.
When you are looking for a reputable designer most will use a similar array of design tools within the build of designs. Most designers I have worked with over the last ten years will hold extensive knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe XD. As you can see from the tools above all of these tools are Adobe packages. The reason for this is that Adobe tools have become the mainstream tools for designers and each program offer different abilities to design. Adobe does offer around twenty or so other products which have their own benefits but for a web designer, these are the best tools to build web design mock-ups.
If I was going to approach designing a website I would use Adobe Photoshop to build the full design. Photoshop is what I call a bread a butter of a web designers toolkit, this is the builder’s spirit level or tape measure. On a day to day basis, I will use Photoshop for around 5 hours per day building website designs.
Adobe XD is slowly becoming a strong replacement for rapid prototyping of web designs and is geared more around website mock-ups but for me, Photoshop will be around for some years before we switch to XD fully for designing interfaces of web platforms.
Illustrator again is another great tool of the design world but as this is a very heavy program I feel the biggest benefit this has to design is to create brandings such as logo’s, style tiles and vector-based objects.
One of the biggest drawbacks to using the Adobe cloud base suite of programs as a designer is that it can be costly to purchase. I strongly believe these costs are outweighed by the benefits of each program use and ability to give you a unique design.
If cost is an issue then you may want to look at some of the other design programs on the market:
- Coral Photo-Paint
If you are using reputable designer these will usually have the best tools of design trade ready to help you will all aspects of your website building.
Branding is the biggest key element to having a design made for your business website. Branding is usually what sets you apart from your business competitors and helps users of your product or service remember you.
Any good web designer such as Mosaic Digital Media Ltd will be able to take key components such as your logo, fonts, colours, images, etc and build you a bespoke design that incorporates all aspects of branding and highlights these to the best of their ability across your website. By increasing brand awareness, site visitors will remember your design and will grow a confidence in you from the start as your impression is great.
User Experience (UX)
Design isn’t just the key part of a designers job to build you a website. User experience is just vital in letting a site visitor make their mind up on if you are the right business for them.
So what is UX?
User experience goes hand with design and is a cornerstone of any good website design. When a site visitor lands on your website you want to make them get to where they want to go with as little ease as possible. For example, if you have an eCommerce website your goal is to get a site visitor from your homepage to the products, next to the basket and finally onto the full checkout process. Any good web designer will be able to map out user journeys such as this to give a site user the best experience when using your website.
This is why it is very important to make sure the design of your website looks great but also isn’t too over the top to where site visitors have such difficulty using the website they jump away.
At Mosaic, we look to make sure design and user experience are considered with just as much weight as each other when building website designs.