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Your Website Design Is Pretty, But Is It Smart?

Your website is your most important marketing asset all-year-around. With more people shopping online than ever, a website needs to do more than look good. It’s the calling card for your brand and your most reliable, sometimes only asset for driving customers. Your website bolster your advertising campaigns, take control of your brand image online and build long term relationships with your customers.

Visitors Behavior

As a business owner you need to understand your visitors’ online behavior. Keep in mind that your website’s purpose is to guide your visitors toward a specific action that needs to address their specific needs. The better you understand those behaviors, the better you will be at address your visitors’ needs.


You can have the most beautifully designed website in the world, but if your content is lacking in quality and credibility, your design means nothing.


Visitors scan web-pages. They don’t read every single bit of content and search for anchors to guide them through the content of your website page.


Your website needs to grab your visitors’s attention in the first few seconds or they will leave and go to your competitor.


Visitors tend to follow their intuition which makes it is very important that your website structure follows an intuitive flow.

Principles Of An Effective Website Design

Whether you are building your first website, or re-designing an existing one, this quote applies either way:

”If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?”

John Wooden


Each page on your website needs to cater to a specific goal of your user. Whether your user is looking for your contact details or more information on a product or service, your website needs to cater to that in the most effective way.


Users tend to consume information very quickly on the internet. It’s therefore important that you communicate information very clearly on your website. It needs to be easy to read and digest. You can accomplish this by formatting your text with headers, bullet points etc.


Make sure that your website is optimized to be viewed across all devices. You will be missing out on a big chunk of traffic if your website is only optimized for desktop usage.


Text isn’t the only form of communicating with your visitors. Adding rich media to your website like images, videos and infographics can communicate a point across more effectively than any piece of text. It can also be very effective in positioning your brand to your target audience.


Studies show that visitors scan websites in a “F” pattern which places their attention in the top left hand side of the screen. Good designers will build a website using this rule and prioritize the most important information from left to right and from top to bottom.


Websites that takes a long time to load are universally hated by most visitors and will leave. Ensuring that website images are optimized to load faster and making sure the code is optimized, your website will load quicker.


This refers to the actions visitors take when moving around in your website. There is a general “3 click rule” which states that a user shouldn’t take more than 3 clicks to get to their goal destination. Make sure that the website has a logical page structure which has an intuitive user flow.

Design Process Of Your New Website


Website Goals – During the beginning phase of the process, it’s important to determine the goals of the website; for example, lead capturing, sales or to provide information. These goals will dictate the design of the website as it strives to meet this goal.

Content Structure – Mapping out the content structure and getting approval on that during the planning phase is crucial. This will save enormous amounts of time later on.


Quality Branding Materials – Your website needs to have consistent branding in order for the user journey off-line to compliment the user journey online. An example would be the logos on your letterhead which should match the logos on your website.

Mockups – The mockups are created, keeping the website goals in mind. It’s important to have enough variety in the mockups to view how different styles could possibly impact the website look and feel.

Review & Approve – The website look and feel needs to be considered and approved by all stakeholders before the development can start.


Website Template Framework – The main template framework for the website is developed before the individual page templates are developed. It’s the foundation for the various page templates.

Page Templates – Once the master template is developed, the individual page templates are created; for example the product page template which will be used for all product pages.

Add Special Features – Special features are developed when the need arises for a specific function; for example adding social network buttons where users can “like” your blog posts.

Upload Content – After the content has been written and approved, it needs to be uploaded along with any other media to the specific pages of the website. Other media include videos, images, pdf documents or slides.

QA – Once the website has been fully developed, it needs to go through Quality Assurance by testing all links, functionality etc. This process can be time consuming, but is necessary in order to avoid any errors when pushing live.


Transfer to Live – When all testing has been completed, it’s time to transfer the website to the live server where the website will be hosted.

Testing – Live testing is necessary in order to ensure there are no errors or bugs on the live website.

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