Smart Web Design Considerations for Growing Business in 2022

August 25, 2022

By: John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
TucsonBizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Sofvue, LLC and the author

I remember in 1992 when there were less than 100,000 business websites across all of the United States. In fact, I built a website (HTML 1.0) for an upstart company in Austin that same year, and when launched, I was interviewed by three television stations due to the excitement that a business website was actually available in Austin. At that time, there were probably less than a thousand websites in the entire city. Today, there are likely 100,000 new websites launched every day… if not every hour.

The internet is a dynamic, ever-expanding, ever-changing environment that can be numbing trying to keep pace with. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, people spend more time online than ever before in history. Globally, the average person spends 147 minutes daily on the Internet. That’s almost 2.5 hours per day looking at screens.

That's a lot of time, and it shows how important it is for your business to have a strong online presence, and what better way to market your company than creating a website.

It goes without saying that not having a website for your small business is like not having a business at all. Although a business website is a critical marketing component for any business, it doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. With some smart planning, a reasonable investment, and the right commitment, you can build a site that serves your business goals for years to come.

As a two-decade old website design company serving Tucson, we have the chops to help you understand exactly what’s needed to create the right solution for your business.

To achieve this, let’s discuss some of the basics.

What is Smart Web Design?

Smart web design is about more than just making things look pretty. Don’t get me wrong, pretty is very important, but it follows functionality. Smart web design is a strategic process that puts the needs of your users first, allowing them to have a satisfying experience that encourages them to do one of three things; place an order (for e-Commerce sites), contact your company through your site’s web forms or even better, pick up the phone and call your company. A website that is easy to use, looks great, and provides value to visitors is what we call "smart."

Smart web design considers many factors: how long someone will spend on your page (or if they'll stay at all), where users are likely to click, where you want them to click, and how people search for information.

Additionally, a smart web design offers a clear hierarchy of information. It offers an easy way for your website's visitors to figure out what you're offering so they can quickly get things done. In fact, when it’s appropriate, I encourage small micro and start-ups to have what’s called a “one page” site.  

The Primary Goal of Your Business Website

Before you start designing your website, it is essential to determine its primary goal(s). Here’s how:

* Define your target audience. Use personas if possible, or at least try to identify specific groups of people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.

* Be clear about what you want visitors to do.

* Be clear about your brand: What are its key characteristics? How does it differ from other businesses in similar industries? Is it accessible, trustworthy, and relatable? Does its design reflect these qualities in a way that makes sense for both customers and prospects?

* Be clear about your message: What do visitors need to understand when they arrive on your site? What is important enough for them not only to remember but also to act upon?

For example, if you were running a website design company in Tucson, your primary target audience would be businesses looking to build a new or redesign a website.

What are the key elements to make it work?

Now that you have an idea of what a smart web design is and how to define your website’s target audience, let’s look at the key elements that can help you make your website as effective as possible.

1. Use Whitespace

Whitespace is the empty space on your website. This can be in the form of margins, padding, or gutters (between columns). Whitespace gives a good user experience because it provides a visual separation between elements and allows content to breathe.

Whitespace is a great way to add visual interest to your website and make it easy for your users to navigate. In fact, if you look at some the most successful websites in the marketplace, all of them strive to be more by showing less. The more whitespace you use, the simpler and cleaner your design will look. Whitespace also helps create a user-friendly experience by allowing the eye to focus on relevant content without being distracted by unnecessary design elements.

2. Easy to Use Navigation Bar

The navigation bar is one of the most important aspects of a website and should be designed with care. A navigation bar that is difficult to use will frustrate visitors who will leave your site immediately. To prevent this from happening, follow these best practices for the navigation bar.

* Make sure that the links are easy to read and understand with a quick glance (with clear text labels and icons)

* Ensure that the links are visible just above or below the menu icon at all times (persistent). Don't complicate matters by hiding them in dropdowns or tabs, especially when visitors might not realize that they need to hover over an object to display a sub-navigation menu.

* Less is more. Put your most important links in your upper navigation bar. Everything else should be placed on the footer.

3. Provide the Right Information at The Right Time

A smart website provides users with the right information at the right time. Therefore, ensure your content is relevant to your target audience so they'll stay longer on your site. The best example of this is Amazon. We’re sure you’ve seen its product recommendations based on your purchase history and recently browsed items. That’s exactly what a smart web design is.

You can use effective personalization techniques to give visitors what they need and ensure that it is relevant. Here’s how:

* Collect data from visitors using forms or cookies.
* Use those data points to create an interest graph. The interest graph is a map showing how users' interests compare against each other across different topics or subgroups. This will allow you to show content that interests your visitors.

4. Good Contrast and Repetition

Contrast and repetition are principles you'll need to understand when working with color. Contrast is the difference between colors or elements. Repetition refers to an element that appears several times in your design. The combination of contrast and repetition makes for a powerful, memorable design.

5. Directional Cues

The directional cue is a visual element that indicates the direction of movement through a website or app. Arrows are the most common directional cues, but you can use other elements such as lines, icons, and shapes to direct users. Directional cues are especially helpful when there is more than one action a user can take on your site or app.

There are three core ways in which directional cues can be used:

* To indicate movement through a page or app
* To indicate how a user should move within an interface
* To guide visitors toward desired outcomes, actions, and goals

6. User-Centric Design (UCD) Process

User-centered design (UCD) is a process that puts the user first, considering the needs and wants of your potential customers. It’s an iterative design process that involves research, prototyping, and testing with users.

The user-centered design process can be broken down into three main steps:

* Research: Understand your audience by conducting usability studies and interviews with users.

* Prototyping: Create low-fidelity wireframes or high-fidelity prototypes based on what you learned in your research phase.

* Testing: Test prototypes with actual users to see if they understand how to use your site without help, see what works, and identify areas of improvement.

Looking for a Smart Web Design Expert?

Smart website design doesn’t have to be hard, and you do not need to do all the work yourself. Tucson Bizz is a website design company in Tucson that helps small and mid-sized businesses enhance their online presence with a smart and effective website.

Our web design experts in Tucson can create a custom web design for you that aligns with your business goals and reflects your company’s personality. To schedule a time to discuss your company’s website campaign goals, give us a call at 623-845-2747.

LINKS:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/433871/daily-social-media-usage-worldwide/
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