If you’re planning a new web project or website, you’re probably looking to allocate a limited budget across a large variety of design, development, and marketing services. It can be hard to know what to prioritize. Here we’ll explain what good graphic design is, and why it can matter to your business.
What is “Design” in a Web Context?
“Design” is quite a broad term, and means something like “How well something is architected to suit its purpose.” A well-designed car, for example, gets good gas mileage, and a badly-designed one crashes for no reason.
Graphic design, which we’re generally talking about here, is more visually focused. It’s about working with the visual presentation—typography, layout, colors, logos and branding—of (in this case) a website so that it has the following qualities:
- Aesthetically appealing
- Internally consistent and consistent with the mission and brand of the organization
- Easy to use and navigate
Design is inherently subjective, but there’s still a big difference between a well-designed and a poorly-designed site. Like with many things, “You know it when you see it”:
Many or most of your potential customers will check you out online before they ever call you on the phone or step into your office.
Before the internet and social media became such a large part of our lives, businesses wouldn’t necessarily need to worry as much about web design until they had a decent marketing budget. Your customers and business partners would judge your professionalism by the actual service you provided and the quality of interactions they had with you.
Businesses still live and die by the service they offer customers. However, today it’s likely that many or most of your potential customers will check you out online before they ever call you on the phone or step into your office.
Good Design Means a Good First Impression
The image you present though your website and social media pages is your chance to make a first impression.
The image you present though your website and social media pages is your chance to make a first impression. If it’s a poor one, chances are it’ll be the only impression you get to make. If you wouldn’t feel good about keeping a front desk employee who came to work with a face tattoo and holes in their shirt, you shouldn’t feel good about using sloppy or poorly considered design.
Using good design to present your business communicates that you not only have good taste, but a good judgement and self-awareness. The Stanford Web Credibility Project found that 47% of users make buying decisions based upon a business’s site alone. While your customers might not know anything about how your business is run, if you look sharp they’ll be more willing to trust you and give you a chance.
You’ll be Memorable to Customers
Good visuals increase the likelihood that customers will remember your brand.
You want a large customer base that is able to automatically recall your business when opportunities to use and recommend it come up. Creating a great logo, selecting an impactful color palette, and choosing effective fonts are major pieces of establishing a consistent and memorable brand identity, and an important way to encourage customer engagement.
You Won’t Waste your Chance to Establish Brand Recognition
If you’re planning on doing social media marketing, everything you post is an opportunity to increase brand recognition. The launch of your site is the perfect time to drive new traffic to your URL and social media pages. Having a bad or indifferent design not only wastes your opportunity to be remembered, but also risks wasting the time and money you spend marketing.
You’ll Make Better Web Design Choices
You’ll have a better sense of whether or not your web design will work if you can picture the final product.
While determining the structure and functionality of your website doesn’t have to hinge on having all your visual ducks in a row, you’ll have a much better sense of whether your website is actually going to work as intended if you can picture the final product.
If you’re like me, accurately judging a theme’s design is a lot easier when you can see it with the typography, colors, and logo you’ve already selected. Since your visual branding should remain consistent for years to come, you can focus on determining if your site will have the functional capabilities it needs to grow with your business.
We Love Our Readers
Have you had an experience where graphic design has helped your business? Are there any designers who’s work you love? We hope you’ve found this post helpful in planning your site launch. We love hearing from our readers, so please share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below! Thanks for reading!