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How important is great design for your website?

As a business owner, you are inundated with the day-to-day.  Running a business is HARD!  Most people don’t think about challenges of customer acquisition and support, let alone who’s going to pay the electric bill.  That being said, prioritization is important, and in the end, it’s hard to work in the dark.  You may commit your time and your money to marketing, but what have you done to make sure your online presence, your official home on the web truly represents you and your brand?  These days, having a website is as important (sometimes more important) than having a phone number was just 10 years ago.

I know what you are thinking… But I already have a website!”

That may be true, but do you LOVE giving it out to people or are you hesitant because you are embarrassed that the world will see your 1996 frames and animated gifs?

Ok, ok… maybe it’s not that bad, but even if your website was built in the last few years, is it using modern technology and design?  Probably not.  Technology changes can make your page look old and tired, and by association, your brand.  Here are a few questions that may help you diagnose whether your site design makes the cut, or if it’s ready for a refresh.


Is your website built for modern displays?

Even if your site was well designed a few years ago, it may not have been built with the high resolutions of today’s displays in mind.  Just as far back as 2011, almost 50% of all displays being used were 1280×1024 pixels or less.  That may not mean much to you but today’s displays can go up to 2880×1800 pixels or higher – almost 4 times the density.  Basically, that means your old website might look like this to a modern browser:low res

See all that white space?  It’s wasted… and ugly!


Is your website optimized for mobile browsing?

Mobile viewHave you ever visited a website on your iPhone and thought to yourself, “This is awfully hard to use?” whether you have or not, that’s probably how a lot of the people feel who are looking at your site.  Modern website design utilizes a technique known as “Responsive Design” which essentially means that your potential clients are going to have a great experience regardless of the platform they are viewing it from.  This is almost an absolute requirement today since up to half of your user traffic could be coming in over a mobile device.


Is your website clean and easy to use?

One of the most critical points to effective design is ease of use.  Do your users WANT to keep clicking?  Do they want to learn more?  Or is your website just there to take up space and prove you exist.  Do more with your design.  Control the flow of traffic.  Make it clear what you want your users to experience.  The use of color, images, and even punctuation can make a big difference the overall experience of your visitors.  Even if you just want them to see your phone number and call, a well designed site can encourage your customers to do that and at worst, not make them want to leave.


Great design doesn’t have to mean trendy, but it does have to be relevant.  If you want your prospective clients to view your business as modern and growing a well-designed website is the price of admission.


Featured image photo credit: Ruth Ellison via flickr cc

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