What makes for a well designed website?

If you asked ten different people to list the five most important elements of a well designed website, you’d probably get ten different answers. My five would be:

  1. It needs to take account of your target market & drive engagement.
  2. It needs to take account of your target market & drive engagement.
  3. It needs to take account of your target market & drive engagement.
  4. It needs to take account of your target market & drive engagement.
  5. It needs to take account of your target market & drive engagement.

Only when you get those five right (okay, perhaps it’s only one…) should you be worrying about the exact imagery to choose, writing the website copy, deciding what CMS to use (we like WordPress, but we also occasionally use Joomla), etc. Websites have lots of different reasons to exist (to provide information, to sell goods, to encourage user interaction, etc), but if they are not designed with their target market in mind then they aren’t doing the job properly. It would be like a car salesman selling a Mini to a seven foot person with five children who has just said they want to use the car on family holidays, just because you only have Minis in your showroom. Impressive salesmanship perhaps, but not really taking into account the buyer’s needs.

So before you start looking for a website designer (we’re based in Beverley, near Hull in East Yorkshire, but work with people all over the country), think very carefully about who the website is aimed at. What do they do for a living, how old are they, what are their likes and dislikes? Building up this persona of your ideal visitor can then inform how the website is structured as well as how it looks. If you’d like to talk to us about how we go about designing and developing a website, then please do get in touch.

This is a post about design ideas, but is surprisingly devoid of anything visual – sorry! So here’s a nice picture of a sunny day (we haven’t had many of those recently in Yorkshire).

sunny day