A Beginner’s Glimpse to Website Design

Zoho Sites | October 10, 2014 | 2 min read

Everyone of significance needs (and has) a website. While the importance of websites is never argued, many consider designing their websites a boring and tedious job. Some prefer to ignore it completely, building text-heavy websites. Others hand it over to inexperienced designers, who put in too many design elements. However, with increasing numbers flooding the internet, it is safe to say that a website greatly influences the viewer’s perception of you. A poor design casts a disastrous shadow.

It is time we gave our websites’ design its due respect.

Design’s function

First impressions have always mattered. Be it a job interview or a blind date, we obsess over making a great impression. This obsession with first impressions fails, spectacularly, to carry over to our online presence. Have you ever thought about a customers’ reaction when they come across a poorly designed website?

Your website design’s purpose is not solely to create beautiful pages. It must combine form with function. It is one of the key elements that drives engagement. In effect, a website’s design must perform three tasks:

  • Reflect you and your brand

  • Engage and interact with your viewers

  • Present your content effectively

Your Reflection

Every element of your website influences how your audience views you. Consider how Ubisoft, a major gaming company, handles the websites of Valiant Hearts and Assassin’s Creed. While both games are set within a major historical event, their art and gameplay are drastically different from each other. Each website’s design reflects the same with the visuals employed. Valiant Hearts has more stylized design, and Assassin’s Creed employs a more realistic art style. This, in turn, shapes the expectations of viewers from these games. Here is a screenshot comparison of the two websites:

Ubisoft Comparison

Engaging Viewers

Your website’s design also plays a key role in engaging your viewers. A simple example is the ‘Call-to-Action’ button. A properly made button would capture your customers’ attention and lead them to a desirable action, like signing up or buying that smartphone. Another example is optimising your website’s design for a smaller screen, which would help you leaps and bounds towards ensuring engagement.

Simplify Content

Every great website is always designed with the user in mind, with hours of thought going into ensuring ease of navigation. A truly great design works to simplify your website’s content. Your product’s unique story should be strongly conveyed, without boring the audience with lumps of text. Below is a great example:

Bellroy

Bellroy decided to show their customers the benefits of using their product with a simple illustration. They made it easier for their customers to understand their product, and there lies the crux of great design. Imagine how much more boring the website would look if they simply put up a description of the product!

To summarize, your website’s design needs to be made with your customers in mind. It should bring your stories to life, and make life easier for your customers. Remember that your website creates your first impressions, and first impressions always matter.

Gautham G
Marketing Lead

  1. Andy

    The Simplify Content is a definite must with new websites. This can help focus on what’s really important with an emphasis on the content and purpose of the website, yet still looking classy and being perceived as valuable (less in more idea)

  2. Mauricio

    Hi Gautham,

    This is a great intro into web site design. I believe your take on combining form and function is spot on. I believe too many web designs are merely chasing the latest CSS effect trend. One needs to pay close attention to what it is that the user wants (intention) and how a web site design can deliver this need in the best possible way.

    Thanks again,
    Mauricio

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