There is more than one mistake you can make when it comes to website design (one being DIY-ing it for way too long). Today I wanted to talk to you about the most important one.
Most people make this one major mistake: they focus on their website looking pretty and on trend.
You know, a nice logo (preferably script font), fashionable colour palette, fonts that are on top right now and a popular pre-made theme.
They spend hooooours browsing Pinterest for brand boards, trying to find their perfect theme, fonts and all that cool stuff we all like to pin.
At the end of the day, most people go around in circles. They keep tweaking their branding and site over and over again being inspired by yet another trend.
But there’s always this nagging feeling of “something’s missing”.
They never really build momentum because they are never consistent. They just can’t help it – their brand never feels right.
Their website doesn’t attract people they want to attract. People that do come through, do not convert into clients or customers.
It lacks strategy and purpose and quite frankly, is all over the place.
If it’s you – I feel you. Most of my clients feel the exact same way! You can get your website right. It is possible for you!
Don’t get me wrong! I follow design trends. I also spend way too much time on Pinterest #sorrynotsorry
I do however understand that the strategy behind the layout is far more important than the prettiest and most flashy design.
The most common mistake people made when designing their website is not going through a strategy session, followed by creating a wireframe.
During the strategy session, you should ask yourself a few important questions:
What’s my main purpose for this website?
Who’s my ideal target audience?
What action do I want them to take on my website?
How will I measure if my website is successful?
Like with any marketing campaign, you need to understand your goals. Who you’re targeting, what you’re going expect people to do and how will you measure your success. A website is a part of your marketing plan. After all, it’s there to promote your business, sell your products and get you new clients, right?
Just like you wouldn’t start with a creative work on a marketing campaign, you shouldn’t jump to design right away either. Think about what you want to achieve and then design your website accordingly.
Your website CAN and should follow website trends (especially the ones that are really beneficial to you. Especially the ones like: responsiveness, high contrast so people read easily, high quality photography, etc). You just need to be clear on the layout and structure first.
Why a wireframe is so important
Once you know your goals, you can think of the elements, functionalities and content that will help you achieve those goals. That’s the perfect time for a wireframe.
If you hear the word wireframe for the first time, don’t freak out! It’s just a very rough drawing of your website. Actually, the simpler it is the better. Then UX designers (those who design the flow of website and your experience with it) design a website, they usually produce many, many simple sketches to visualise the flow but don’t get stuck on details. Once they’re happy with the structure and layout, only then do they pass the job along to designers who make stuff look pretty. It’s perfect if your designer understand the UX side of things and can help you organise your content, as well as design a beautiful visual aspect of your website.
When creating a wireframe, your designer distributes the content of your website and plans a simple layout. Since it’s just a drawing and a very simple one, it’s easy to move stuff around until they create the perfect solution for you.
Skipping this step may mean your website will be beautiful, but may not fix the problems you were having, may not convert well enough or may not increase the time your audience spends browsing your pages.
Always start with your audience in mind
As with everything you do in your business: always start with your audience in mind! You have to know them really, really well to know what sort of things they like. What do they expect from a business like yours and what kind of content will make them want to buy from you. Knowing them like your BFF will also make it really easy for you to find the perfect colors, photography or even fonts for your website. After all, all those things are a part of your branding and a thing that attracts your ideal clients. You want to know who you want to attract, so you know which visuals to use to your advantage.