How great website design benefits your business

An Apple computer in a modern office showing the WRG Gas website with a scenic background visible through large glass panes

Great design is more than just aesthetics. First impressions are very important (94% of first impressions relate to your website’s appearance) but great website design also means creating something that is:

  • usable and readable for everyone (on any device)
  • appealing to your intended audience
  • appropriate for your intended audience
  • an accurate representation of your business
  • aligned with your values and strategies

Your website should be all of these things. And why are these things important? Because people judge your website on how it looks and performs before trusting you with their time, data and money.

90% of people have left a website because it was poorly designed.
Source: HubSpot

In this article, we’ll help you understand what makes the design of a website great – and how that benefits your visitors and your business. With this information, you will know what you exactly need when commissioning a new website or website redesign.

Generate more business

A great website design can have a significantly positive impact on your business, particularly how your target market and prospects view you and what you offer. It can generate leads and sales and play a crucial part in successful digital marketing campaigns.

The standard for design is no longer just about appearances; it’s all in the details that lead to how a visitor will engage with your brand. From layout and navigation to colour and typography, these critical elements work together to build a digital presence that, when used strategically, can deliver serious Return On Investment (ROI).

When you invest in the design and user experience of your website, you can expect to improve your ROI in five areas:

  1. Boosted overall revenue/conversion
  2. Increased customer satisfaction and business-to-business satisfaction
  3. Fewer support calls
  4. Reduced development waste
  5. Reduced risk of building the wrong thing

Design-centric businesses yield impressive returns. The Design Management Institute, for example, found that design-centric companies like Apple, Coca-Cola and IBM outperformed other non-design-centric businesses by 211% over a ten year period.

Differentiate yourself from the competition

Invest in your website at the design stage, and the end result will be a website that differentiates you from the competition. Invest little, and you may end up with a ‘cookie-cutter’ design template that looks like so many other websites in your market.

Simply inserting your content into a pre-built template and hoping for the best can lead to something that looks underwhelming or awkward. It certainly is unlikely to lead to the memorable experience that will convert visitors into customers and keep them coming back.

Unique branding and website design is an essential aspect of any successful website. In our experience, a custom-built website created with unique visuals will make a positive impact on visitors and won’t be easily forgotten.

Multiple monitors on a desk in a dark room showing the Webster Miller website

Have a look at our portfolio for some examples of unique, custom-created website designs.

Deliver a memorable visitor experience

Give your visitors a great experience, and they’ll be more likely to buy from you or call you. They are also more likely to remember your brand, to recommend you to others, and become a return customer. Deliver a bad experience, and that visitor won’t return to your website.

88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.
Source: Inside Design, Invision

A great website will be designed to create a journey for the user to engage, explore and interact with your brand. It should consider their goals and help them find the fastest and easiest route to achieving them successfully. Help people achieve their goals on your website, and you are much more likely to have a loyal customer on your hands and see a return-on-investment in your website.

“Proactively delighting customers earns trust, which earns more business from those customers, even in new business arenas. Take a long-term view, and the interests of customers and shareholders align.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO

A great website design is easy to navigate; it makes it clear to the visitor where they are, where they can go, and where they have been. It helps them feel reassured on their journey through your content, not lost. It provides a navigation structure that considers their goals (such as finding some information, buying a product, or sending an enquiry) and shortens the journey to reaching them.

An Apple computer in a bright modern office showing the DrainBlitz website

Great design also provides multiple ways to use a website. Some people like to use a menu. Some find it easier to use a search bar provided by the website. And others rely entirely on Google to bring up the individual page they need on websites (meaning pages must be optimised so Google can easily find and rank them appropriately).

User Experience (UX) has become a key differentiator online, especially for large businesses and organisations where competition is fierce. Whoever delivers the best experience wins the hearts and minds of the customer.

And last but not least, Google and other search engines are now assessing the User Experience (UX) of websites to consider as part of how they rank your website in their results. So better design and UX can mean a higher search engine ranking.

What to aim for:

  • An easy-to-use navigation system
  • Mobile-friendly navigation
  • Breadcrumb navigation (see image below for an example)
  • Contextual menus to navigate to pages within a section or category
  • Lists of related content
  • An accurate search function

Deliver great content fast

Great website design takes into consideration the fact that a fast-loading website converts more visitors into leads and customers by quickly getting them to the content or products they need. A website that hasn’t been designed with speed in mind, however, will have potential customers turning away to find another supplier.

Slow-loading websites cost retailers £1.73 billion in lost sales each year.
Source: Inside Design, Invision

A professional-looking and uncluttered website will help people find what they’re looking for, whether that’s some information, a product, or a service you provide. It will also look more credible and trustworthy so they are much more likely to stay for longer, use an enquiry form, or purchase your products.

A computer monitor and Apple laptop in a bright modern office showing the Scotscreed website

Optimised images, icons, fonts, and other visual assets are an essential deliverable of a great website design. Expect your website to be tested and optimised for performance.

Performance is especially important today given that the majority of your visitors are likely to be using a mobile device and some will be using 4G or even 3G (think about people visiting your website while on a train journey).

Mobile phones held a 60+% share of all retail website visits worldwide
Source: Perficient, 2019

Recent changes to Google’s search algorithm mean that fast, user-friendly, accessible websites will be given priority over slower, inaccessible websites that are difficult to use.

What to aim for:

  • Pages that load in under 3 seconds
  • A design that uses a small number of fonts and font weights
  • Images that only fully load when you have scrolled to that part of the page (known as ‘lazy loading’)
  • Icons provided in SVG format (which offer greater flexibility and smaller file sizes)
  • Evidence of performance testing

Present your content beautifully

Good content is an important factor in a website’s success. A great design can’t fix bad content that lacks detail or is too wordy – but great content and great design together is a match made in heaven.

Fundamentally, people visit your website (and stay there) for the content, not the design. That said, if the choice of fonts and text colours make that content attractive and easy to read, then the design has done its job.

A computer monitor and laptop screen in a stark modern office showing the Carnoustie Country website

The design of a website helps break up your content with space, imagery, graphics, charts, quotes, tables, and videos.

(By the way, we can help you with copywriting for your website.)

What to aim for:

  • Clear, succinct writing that avoids long sentences and complex phrasing
  • A well-structured page, with the most important content available first
  • Clear heading structure that helps summarise the content at-a-glance
  • Use of lists that summarise the main points

Be accessible to every visitor on any device

Another key trait of a great website design is that it considers the full spectrum of people that will visit your website. One-in-six people in the UK have a disability, including over 8 million people with a visual impairment.

Great design means readability, ease-of-use, and adaptability so your website can be used by any visitor on any device, including those who rely on assistive technology like screenreaders.

The screen size of your mobile visitors will vary dramatically too; from basic smartphone to the latest largest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. It’s the same for the many different sizes of tablets, laptops and monitors available on the market in the past, present, and future.

A tablet and phone sitting on the arm rest of a modern grey sofa displaying the DrainBlitz website

Being able to adapt to this broad range of screen sizes is known as responsive design, and it’s the standard website design approach today.

85% of adults think that a company’s website, when viewed on a mobile device, should be as good or better than its desktop website.
Source: Inside Design, Invision

Have a website that users need to pinch and zoom on their mobile devices to view? That visitor is as good as gone—and they are typically able to figure that out in 0.05 seconds.

Check out our previous article for more information and some practical help with making your website accessible.

What to aim for:

  • Fonts sized so that content is easy to read
  • Headings that look distinct from each other and the surrounding text
  • Plenty of ‘whitespace’ to avoid overwhelming your visitor
  • Good use of imagery and media to help communicate clearly with the visitor (with alternative text)
  • Appropriate levels of colour contrast between text and background elements
  • A layout that can adapt to the huge range of screen sizes and devices out there, from small mobiles to large TV-sized displays

Do you need web design advice or a free quote?

Does your website suffer from any of these common website design issues?

  • Busy or complicated layout?
  • Pop-up advertisements, distracting cookie notices, and special offers?
  • Small text that’s hard to read?
  • Boring design or lack of colour?
  • Slow loading times?
  • Inaccessible and not compliant with the law?

We have decades of experience creating unique websites that avoid these common issues and deliver positive return-on-investment for businesses large and small across the UK.

If you have a question about website design or are looking for a competitive quote for a redesign or new website, please get in touch with us. You can also browse our portfolio to see what we have successfully delivered for other businesses and organisations across the UK.

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