In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three part blog series, we covered common web design misconceptions #1 through #8. Unfortunately, there are even more misconstrued ideas about how web design works and what it’s all about. In our final attempt to blow your mind with the truth about web design, we present misconceptions #9 through #12.
Some people assume that building a good website is as simple as understanding the color wheel, keeping up on design trends, following the rule of thirds, and knowing how to use white space. Anyone can be taught how to do and understand these things to become a good designer, right?
Ouch. That hurts. Designing a website is about WAY more than just making things looks pretty.
As an undergrad at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, I took a Strategic Design and Visuals class. By three quarters of the way through the semester, I had learned all the basic rules that go into good design. Nearing the end of the course, I was shocked by what my professor told me: now that you’ve learned the rules, break them.
As it turns out, design is about understanding aesthetic appeals, but great, creative design worthy of a second look is about pushing design rules to their limits and breaking them in an artful way.
Web design also involves strategy in terms of navigation. Optimizing the way users navigate through a site, making sure they get to the information you want them to see and take the actions you want them to take, requires planning and thinking through the best layout. How the site is designed should work in tandem with the goals you want your site to accomplish.
…at least if you want a unique website. Sure there are website building programs and software systems out there that can help you create a website, but without a decent grasp on website coding and programing language, your site probably won’t stray far from the standard template you started with.
There’s a pretty big learning curve involved in the web building process that makes web design way more complex than simply making elements look nice. It takes time and practice to understand how to build sites with customized code. But the outcome is well worth the effort, allowing designers to create a one-of-a-kind online interface for your brand.
If this was true, you probably wouldn’t have looked to a professional designer for help in the first place. The fact of the matter is that designers are in tune with design trends and attractive design executions, it’s their job. How would you feel if someone tried telling you how to do your job? If we all focus on what we do best, we’re bound to be more satisfied with our end products.
You hire a web designer to bring your vision to life, and designers want to do everything in their power to make sure you’re happy with the design. But one of the biggest advantages of consulting with a professional design company to build your website is that they’ll advise you on how to make the best site for your business. They’re going to offer suggestions they believe will help attract visitors to your site, not scare them away.
So if your web designer advises you:
remember, they’re saying this with your best interests in mind. Professional designers have years of experience under their belt they can pull from to ensure you don’t make a fool of yourself on the Internet.
You may be under the impression that a minimalist approach to web design means putting in minimal effort. WRONG. Finding the perfect balance in the placement of text, images and open space requires planning and design skills.
The visual presentation of the information on your website is just as important as the information you include. If you place content haphazardly on the site and cover every inch of the screen, visitors will be very overwhelmed. Avoid the clutter!
Take advantage of white space (the space in the layout that is free of content) so the visitor can have a more soothing, visually appealing experience. Incorporating white space into the design makes for a cleaner look overall and helps the visitors notice what you want them to notice. Don’t require your visitors to decipher what the important information is; show them what’s important by calling attention to it visually.
This is a killer. The truth is, design trends change, and down the road you’ll probably want to update your website design to reflect those changes and avoid looking outdated. Don’t get us wrong, we can design sites that will stay looking current for years to come, but if you haven’t updated your site in 10 years, chances are it could use a touch up or two. Beyond that, changes to your design may be needed as your business grows and develops.
Even though your website is “finished”, remember what the purpose of your site is and what it’s capable of doing for your business. Maintaining a website is an ongoing responsibility if you want to make the most of the medium. Think of your site as the online hub of your marketing efforts and optimize it’s ability to generate leads for your business. Adding new, updated content to your site on a regular basis is key to an inbound marketing strategy.
Another reason you can’t just be done with your website once the design is finished and launched is because websites can become vulnerable to hacking. You’ll want to habitually implement security updates on your site and monitor it for hacking. MayeCreate offers a Safe Site plan to keep websites protected and prevent them from falling victim to hacking.
Did you miss out on the first and second installment of this series? We’ve got you covered.