How To Design A Website To Represent Your Brand
When building a brand, you must understand how to design a website to represent your brand in order to engage, interact and maintain your customers.
In all honesty, designing a website to represent your brand can be quite fun. However, when designing one, it is important to remember that a website can either draw people in or turn them away from your business. When it comes to how to design a website there are a lot of different ways to approach it. The best web design firms know that looks are pretty important and strive to design a website that is highly functional and appealing to the right audience.
Of course, a website should convey practical information about your business and your brand, that being said, it’s also the place to build emotional connections with your target audience. To best represent your brand, you must understand how to design a website that conveys your personality and value proposition in a human way.
Your audience is the most important factor when it comes to determining how to design a website that actually represents your brand. You ideally want to design a website that is smooth for someone to navigate while supporting your brand voice, message and colors — it’s all about connections.
People are usually turned off by a website that does not feel good to use. User experience is important to the success of any website, but essential in how to design a website that accurately represents your brand. If you’re ready to learn how to design a website to represent your brand; these tips will guide you through a thoughtful and effective approach to do so.
If you want to know how to design a website, a good place to begin is to brainstorm the layout the website.
You can do this on sheets of paper, a whiteboard, or even individual index cards. You can also use applications on your computer like Adobe Illustrator. Of course, this layout is not 100% final so leave room for changes.
This is where you could lay out the different pages on the site and where they go. One way to do this is to draw a box, label it the page you want, put a line under that, draw another box connected to that line and label it the page that would come from the first one.
If you are using index cards, do this in a similar way by either imagining the lines or using string. Do it however you can best envision how the parts of your site will connect.
When making titles for certain pages, remember to be simple but descriptive. People who look at the site usually begin by taking a look at the menu whether it is on the side or on the top. Objects in the menu will more than likely be seen.
Believe it or not, as much as the titles of the pages matter, the order of the menu items is not that important. Studies show the layout of the menu items does not make too much of a difference, however placing the actual menu where users expect to see them does. So focus on titling your pages in ways that make the most sense.
2. Choose a Style
After this, it may be a good time to choose a style for the site. This decision does not have to be 100% definitive in the beginning though as you may want to change it later.
A style that has been increasingly popular over the years is minimalism. Minimalism is basically what it sounds like, there is not much to it. Everything is sleek, everything on the page is usually one or two colors, and there is little to no shading. You have more than likely seen this style everywhere, not just websites – from Google to the packaging on a box of markers.
With this, you also want to choose typography. For typography in website design, try to select a font for your main headings and another for smaller text. Maybe something thicker, bolder, and/or longer for the main text and something skinnier and shorter for other things. Look for fonts that complement each other and are easy to read.
For colors, if you are going for a minimalist theme, only choose a few colors. You can try using tools online if you are stuck when it comes to choosing a color scheme. There are certain websites dedicated to this. Make sure your colors align with your brand and are appealing to the eye.
Most importantly you want to use fonts and colors that represent your brand, maintaining consistency throughout all of your brand’s marketing materials.
3. Keep It Simple
Even if you are not going for a minimalist style, still try to keep things as clean and organized as possible. In fact, websites that are not cluttered are really booming in e-commerce. Minimalist design for websites is effective in clearly presenting information and are often far easier to navigate.
Also, if you have too many things on the screen, it can cause an increased cognitive load. Try putting what is just needed on-screen. Keep it simple and provide just enough info as to what is the page about, why should a person care, and where should they go next?
With text and paragraphs, try and keep those reader-friendly and straight to the point too. Avoid long paragraphs and use simple wording. People want fewer words and will likely abandon your site before reading all of the content. So get your message out quickly and clearly.
4. This Way, That Way
When it comes to guiding people on where to click next, there are a couple of different ways to do this. You can simply start with “Click Here”. However, if you want to make it more interesting, you can try using creatively designed call to actions. Whatever you do, make sure your design style and wording is used to represent your brand.
Color can also be used to guide people to where they need to go. Brighter colors can guide the eye and people tend to look at them first compared to darker colors. With this too, remember contrast. Make things stand out to guide the eye. Arrows and symbols are also great ways to capture attention and direct website visitors.
5. Use Grids
Using grids when designing your website will help you keep everything aligned. Grids help will prove extremely beneficial in the process of how to design a website for your brand by tying different design elements together to achieve effective hierarchy, alignment and consistency, with little effort. If executed properly, your designs will appear thoughtful and organized.
The latest web design trend is to break up your grids for a more asymmetrical look.
This gives your pages a less formal appearance while allowing the readers’ eyes to flow naturally across the pages. Breaking up the grids also allows for things like overlapping and layering which can create unexpected and interesting formations such as juxtapositions, which are likely to grab and retain the attention of your potential clients.
Check out these free website design grid templates.
6. On The Move
Next up is prototyping.
Prototyping often referred to as ‘usability testing’ is an interactive test of the website.
Usability testing is the process of assessing the success of a product when it goes to the market by testing it on users. The usability testing involves physically watching the users navigate your product, service or site while you take notes.
Website usability testing is the evaluation of a website by testing it on users. Usability testing can be done on various levels of product development. Ultimately, website usability testing will uncover a variety of areas to focus on for improvement in terms of converting your audience. For more information on what you should know about usability testing, click here.
Usability testing means testing your website design on multiple interfaces ie: desktop, mobile, tablets, etc.
In fact, more than ⅔ of the world accesses the internet on mobile devices. Therefore, take into account designing your site for smaller screens like phones and tablets.
7. Tidy Up
If you are designing for a client, there may be some things they want you to change. It could be some minor things or they may want you to make some major changes.
Keep in mind, brand consistency is all about delivering the same message, visual elements, and voice in every part of the design of a website. This gives easy recognition to the targeted audience, and may even earn you more customers.
Keep an eye on smaller details too. Make sure the buttons work and that the links go to the correct pages. In the end, and throughout the web design process, good attention to detail is a must.
In The End
When it comes to the How to design a website to represent your brand, you will need to bring all of these factors together . Try and balance all of your website elements. Keep them clean and pleasing to the eye. Above all, make sure that your website speaks for your brand keeping customers engaged with your brand philosophy.
Also, keep in mind that there are a lot of great website themes available that have already been designed for fast load times and user experience based on data driven analytics. It might be worth your time to check these out, if even just for reference to your own website design. Check out these resources: