You know what they say, style over substance, right? But is it even true? Well, let’s just assume that web design is far more important than the content (HUH?! HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT?!).
While saying one is simply better than the other might be a vast over-simplification of the Style vs. Substance argument, there is no denying that style is one of the most important aspects of the spirit of presentation. Would you open a present covering with filth and worms even if the gift itself was OK? Would you drive a car with an exterior design so hideous that you wanted to gouge your eyes out even if the engine was fully functional? And finally, would you visit a site with a design looking like a nightmare from the depths of the dark web even if the content was informative? If the answer is yes, then I suggest you stop lying to yourself, my friend!
When judging a web designer’s work, it is important to realize that for a brief moment when a visitor enters the site, style matters more than the substance. It is not about the best website design, but that brief moment will be the turning point in which wrong decisions made by the web designer will result in the most catastrophic event in all website creation: Losing viewers.
Even muttering those words out loud makes my spine shiver in fear. Now, as a web designer, you might be asking “How can I make sure the readers will stay after encountering my website? How can I make the aesthetics of the site pleasant enough? How can I elevate my design to the next level?”. Well, here is what you are looking for (if you don’t have the ears or rather, the eyes to read, here are some resources to make your day. Go crazy, eh?):
Have a Plan and Stick to It
It is of utmost importance that you plan for every step of the way when accepting to design a website. You will need to evaluate many things before you start. Things like: what font am I going to use? How is the layout going to look like? How is the user going to interact with my website? And many other questions that need to be answered before the designing process begins.
While this piece of advice isn’t directly related to the point we are trying to make in this blog (which is how to captivate an audience), planning is still important because later on, consistency will be, too. You have got to understand that there’s no going back after making some decisions. You might choose a font and later on think “I don’t feel like using this font anymore” or you might have designed the website with the thought of it being only for blogging but later on, it became more than that. All of these problems will result in the user not being satisfied with their experience on your website, so design carefully!
Put Yourself in the Audience’s Shoes
Before you were a web designer, heck before you were able to use Photoshop effectively, you were a regular person. Remember your experience as a user. What made navigating through a website bearable and even dare I say, pleasant?
As you are probably aware, UX (User Experience) is one of the most essential pillars of web design. That being said, a question pops up: how can a web designer make the experience of visiting a website pleasant for the viewers? It’s very simple. They have to ask and answer two questions: does it look good and does it work well? It is essential to work around these questions as a user first, designer second. It must be taken into consideration that the user is either on a desktop or a mobile phone and speaking of mobile phones… (not the best segue in the world, I know).
This is when responsive web design services come in handy. Nowadays, people who use the internet don’t just browse with their desktops. Many people use their phones and guess what? People have different brands of cell phones and each brand, heck each model operates differently with their browser. So, it is essential to design a website in a way that doesn’t alienate a group of people who own Hawaii phones for instance.
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Be Unique – It’s Almost Always Better Than Being Trendy
Let’s talk about those winners in the design game for a sec. Have you checked our projects, such as Reka, Kasparovchess, but the design of weareosm.com, as well? Our design has been rewarded several times (…yes, this is the part where we brag).
In the previous section of the blog, I asked you to change your perspective to a viewer’s. Now, I need to change yours to an artist’s. While many artists rely on trends and everything that has been tested and worked before, it is essential that you don’t. You have to remember that every design choice that you make needs to be as practical as it is unique. You don’t want your fellow web developer to cry as they witness your crazy and awesome but totally impractical ideas.
Let this be your takeaway from this part of the blog. A good design grabs the audience’s attention, but a great design piques their curiosity (totally not a Django Unchained reference).
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Inspired
You know what they say: “Imitation is the is the sincerest form of flattery.” And it isn’t that far from the truth. While the idea is still frowned upon (as it should be, nobody likes copycats) even among web designers, you can’t help yourself from admiring your fellow designers’ work. Being inspired by others to do better is a rather noble decision. The thing every designer has to do is to know the difference between copying and being inspired.
Check our portfolio, it’s a great starting point.
There are so many websites out there with mind-blowing designs. Always be on the lookout for them and always try to up your game to their level. Be sure that one day, your website will captivate a large audience so much so that they will be attracted to your brand by just looking at your homepage!
Or, if you want us to make the job easier for you, send a FREE quote, and let’s talk about how can we create a website that will captivate your audience!