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10 Essential Web Design Tips You Need To Know For Your Website

DesignKrishna Solanki1 Comment

A website is an essential part of every business's online presence - especially in this day and age.  Because it is such an important asset to your company's brand and overall image it is important to make sure your website works for you.  That is why I am sharing 10 essential web design tips with you today.


1| Define the purpose of your website

Because every website is different it is important to define the purpose of your website.  This will then help you plan what features, benefits, and content to display on your site.  Your homepage may not necessarily be the entry point into your website, especially if you have a blog, so bear in mind "one size does not fit all" and list all the essential elements you need to include when you are defining your website's purpose.

2 | Prioritise your content

For each page of your website, make sure you prioritise your content and give each section/block the relevant placement and prominence.  For example, if you have a Services page, highlight your service in a manner that stands to your reader first and foremost. That would be the goal of that page. in the same sense, a Contact page should make it easy for the reader to contact you - include and display the different ways you can be contacted - telephone, email, skype, store address - again make sure it is relevant to your business.

3 | CTA's on each page

Each page should include some form of a button or call to action (CTA) which lets the user continue on their journey around your website or make an enquiry.  If you have more than one Service/Product offering, include a button near each offering to make it easy for your reader to take an action.

4 | Choose fonts and Use heading styles wisely

Choosing a maximum of 2 fonts will help differentiate normal body copy and a heading style.  The heading style can be used to highlight a particular section and the body copy can be used as the normal text.  This will make it easier on the eye to read any large section of text and even make small chunks of text more appealing.


5 | Make it easy for your readers to contact you

Every website should include a link to a Contact page or include the contact information on the footer element of the website.  This will make it easy for any customers/clients or prospects get in touch with any enquiries or to book you.

6 | Add your social media links

Leading on from including your Contact page to your website, it's also a good idea to include your social media links as well.  It's common practice to include these in the footer area of your website, at the bottom of each page, and don't feel obliged to add all social media links, just add the ones you are most prominent on.

7 | Include testimonials/reviews from previous clients on your website

If you have any kind words from previous clients/customers then definitely include these!  It can be reassuring to a new potential client about work with you.

8 | Keep it clean and simple

Simplicity is key. You want to provide your potential client/customer with enough information to understand what you are offering and also make it look appealing.  If you have lots of text, either review it to shorten it or display it in a manner that is eye-catching and simple.

9 |  Make sure the page/product URL is keyword specific

Make sure your page URL are easy to remember, read and are relevant.  For example, "www.yourwebsite.com/about" is much better than "www.yourwebsite.com/1923747".  It surprising how this is so easily missed but can make sure a difference.  You can also ensure your blog posts are kept relevant as well, this is good for SEO as well.

10 | Make sure your website is responsive

Lastly, I can't stress this enough. Make sure your website is responsive and is suitable for mobiles and tablets.  You really can't afford to lose business because your website is not tailored for these mediums, esp as they are more widely used nowadays.


I hope these tips are useful to you and help you tailor your website for your business.
Did you find these tips useful? Or maybe you have a tip you would like to share?


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The importance of Branding & Website design - PART 1

Branding, Design, StartupKrishna SolankiComment

As a digital designer I truly believe that visual design is an extremely important aspect of a business. Especially as a startup, small business or entrepreneur.

However, instead of taking my word for it I decided to ask 10 Startup founders and Entrepreneurs their thoughts on how important visual design, in this case branding and a website, is to a startup business and what steps they took.

Let’s take a look at the awesome individuals who took part, thanking them once again for their participation - THANK YOU!

[Note: If you are after a brand identity or website, why not take a look at my portfolio and packages to see if we could work together.]

11_The_importance_of branding_and_website_design_PART1.jpg
Agora logo

1 | FOUNDER: ADAM MOISA
STARTUP: AGORA

STARTUP BIO:

Agora simplifies how you manage all your files online. We've made Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box universal so you can manage all your files from a single spot. Edit, share, and collaborate on all your files in real-time without bouncing back and forth between accounts or services.

STARTUP website and Email:

agora.co | support@agora.co

1 | WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RELEVANCE IS OF A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

You need to offer something simple. Often times, an idea can be incredible but all of its functions can be complex. You can't assume people will be able to internalize each and every step. Instead, they will internalize what the product does for them as a whole, how it affects them on an emotional level. You need the brand identity to reflect this, as a logo, or a set of colors is simple, easy, memorable. That is how your brand will be more readily remembered.

2 | When did you invest in a brand identity and website for your startup?

Our product is technologically complex as are its UX rules. We spent a few months developing the backend of the product and we flushed out all of its rules. We wanted to make sure our product was possible before spending time or money on a brand. We wanted to truly understand our product first, so that we can internalize it. Once we realized the product was functional, we then spent our focus on building a brand around it.

3 | How did you meet your brand identity and website requirements?

We wanted a clean UI and seamless UX as that's what the product itself offered - a single space to manage complexity. We wanted our brand to match that - something simple, something clean. We spent months with extremely talented designers pouring over various options for our brand and our UI/UX. We A/B tested multiple iterations of our product to see what jived with users, and what didn't. We eventually whittled it down to what our current beta users are playing with today. But we're still testing, we will always be testing.

4 | What did investing in your brand identity do for your business?

Investing in our brand identity did two things for us:

1 | Internal: the Agora team has a true and set understanding of what our product is, what it does, and how it helps people. We know how it represents us and how we represent it.  This is clearly defined for each member of the team and it helps each and every one of us better understand our role in the company. This makes us work better together to build a great product.

2 | External: our brand is easily recognizable by our logo, blog posts, tweets, etc. We can produce content that is shared by users and lovers of Agora. People can merely take a glance at any piece of content and know that it's Agora. This helps to grow our product organically, it helps to spread the word effectively. Furthermore, because of the consistency and definition of our brand, there is never any confusion as to what we do, who we are. It solidifies Agora in the consumers eye and helps to attach themselves even more to our product and let it increasingly help them manage their workflow and simplify their day.

5 | WHAT Advice would you give another founder who does not have a brand and website in place?

I would tell that founder to do everything they can to truly understand their product. Then, work with a designer to create a strong brand identity that reflects your product. Take this to heart, obsess over every detail!


kickfurther_logo.jpg

2 | FOUNDER: Andrew Westwick
STARTUP: KICKFURTHER

STARTUP BIO:

Kickfurther officially launched its beta in January 2015. We do "inventory crowdfunding" - it's a bit like Kickstarter, except you make money!

STARTUP WEBSITE AND EMAIL:

kickfurther.com | contact@kickfurther.com

1 | WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RELEVANCE IS OF A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

Design and brand identity is extremely important - a well designed website gives your company credibility, and a poorly designed one can turn people away even if the product is good.

2 | WHEN DID YOU INVEST IN A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

Right away

3 | HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE REQUIREMENTS?

We worked with a designer to create mockups then implemented them on our site.

4 | WHAT DID INVESTING IN YOUR BRAND IDENTITY DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

This will vary for other companies but because our business is entirely through our website, we felt it was extremely important to represent our company well.

5 | WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANOTHER FOUNDER WHO DOES NOT HAVE A BRAND AND WEBSITE IN PLACE?

Just do it!


helloMyPA_logo.jpg

3 | FOUNDER: ANNEKA BROWNE
STARTUP: HELLO MY PA

STARTUP BIO:

Hello My PA is a very new venture providing virtual admin services to other businesses, mainly SMEs. Services offered vary from copy typing and data entry to social media management and client relations.

STARTUP WEBSITE AND EMAIL:

hellomypa.co.uk | hellomypa@gmail.com

1 | WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RELEVANCE IS OF A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

With so many people and businesses offering the same sort of service, it is really important to stand out from the crowd. Hello My PA is a sole venture so 'the brand' is essentially representative of me and vice versa which makes it all the more difficult. Creating an individual identity and a brand is key it getting noticed and being remembered.

2 | WHEN DID YOU INVEST IN A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

I invested in a website straight away but as most of my businesses has come from word of mouth, I have been guilty of not focusing so much on design. Hello My PA is just a few weeks old and at the moment, I am what represents the business 'out there'. My next and most important job is creating a logo and an online identity to get noticed in the virtual world.

3 | HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE REQUIREMENTS?

My website requirements at the start were to create a platform for information about Hello My PA and a way for people to get in touch. It is now becoming clear that I can offer more to potential clients via my website with more information that will help them in their own businesses. This will help me in growing my brand identity and essentially my business.

4 | WHAT DID INVESTING IN YOUR BRAND IDENTITY DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Most of my clients are people I have met personally or have been introduced to. My website is representative of me in a virtual world and will essentially be a new and difference source of business and assist me in growing my network.

5 | WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANOTHER FOUNDER WHO DOES NOT HAVE A BRAND AND WEBSITE IN PLACE?

You don't have to invest a lot of money in creating a website but spend some time getting something set up that represents you and your business well. Even if it's not your sole or main focus at the start, it will be what people see if they try to find you online!


Steakizmo logo

4 | FOUNDER: Bhavesh Buhecha
STARTUP: Steakizmo

STARTUP BIO:

Steakizmo is a kitchen tool/gadget that will enable the user to cook the perfect steak!

STARTUP WEBSITE AND EMAIL:

steakizmo.com | hello@steakizmo.com

1 | WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RELEVANCE IS OF A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

Invaluable! The brand is the most important thing and the stand out thing that can enable people to recognise and associate with the product.

2 | WHEN DID YOU INVEST IN A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

After 2 years I.e. Once the product was near completion.

3 | HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE REQUIREMENTS?

I used a very skillfull lady (KDS Designs) to design it once I gave her a brief on what I wanted.

4 | WHAT DID INVESTING IN YOUR BRAND IDENTITY DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Time will tell but I have every faith that my brand will spread and people will associate Steakizmo to it.

5 | WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANOTHER FOUNDER WHO DOES NOT HAVE A BRAND AND WEBSITE IN PLACE?

Have a vision, an idea and then make it happen!!


5 | FOUNDER: Caroline broad
STARTUP: BROAD ASSOCIATES LTD

STARTUP BIO:

I started business in 2011. I deliver interactive workshops to develop the effectiveness of teams and individuals. Lots of activity and reflection on existing skills around teamwork and communication and an introduction to new skills and theory. Workshops include critical thinking, project management and ethical influencing as well as feedback skills, team effectiveness and leadership. I also deliver a half day outdoor puzzle story for teams - The Adventure Game. Teamwork fun for away days with a 'no role play' promise.

STARTUP WEBSITE AND EMAIL:

broadassociates.co.uk | caroline@broadassociates.co.uk

1 | WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RELEVANCE IS OF A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

As a one person band working an associates model, it is important that my brand identity reflects my business integrity and my personality (since I'm mostly selling my skills, approach, attitude, impact - not easy at the best of times). A brand identity and the website creates a message that is bigger than me as a human. It provides an impression that isn't reliant on my personality and establishes that I am credible. I think it also provides me with some security and support. I also think that since I'm planning on this business to grow over decades (my exit strategy is death or winning the lottery!) it supports longevity as well.

2 | WHEN DID YOU INVEST IN A BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE FOR YOUR STARTUP?

It has taken me a two years to work out my market/service. I engaged someone to create a logo for me immediately and then it has been three years later that I built that into a brand and a website. For a one person band it all feels very personal and you want to get it right!

3 | HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR BRAND IDENTITY AND WEBSITE REQUIREMENTS?

I engaged a freelancer who is a designer. We worked together to create the brand. I worked with a website builder so he could create my wordpress site. It is possible for me to create a website myself but massively time consuming. Next time though - and draft two of the website it in creation - I would focus on the copy and get help from a copy writer (not my forte!).

4 | WHAT DID INVESTING IN YOUR BRAND IDENTITY DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Both of these things, which have only just been completed in the last two month, are supporting me in the next phase of my business, which is about expansion and proactive business development, rather than reactive.

5 | WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANOTHER FOUNDER WHO DOES NOT HAVE A BRAND AND WEBSITE IN PLACE?

I have colleagues that have set up a holding website. It is one or two pages, with core information. I would do that immediately, and then that gives you breathing space to develop your brand messages (unless they are really clear on their brand and service/product and market straight away. I wouldn't spend too much time on it and I'm really glad that I engaged professionals. Ann Hawkins is always advising us all to remember we can not be expert at everything and you can budget investing in a professional in your start up costs. I think it is worth that, for time saving and sanity saving. I would also advise that you ask to see previous work and get a couple of references, rather than go with the cheapest.


So thats PART 1 of the 2 part series done.  For the second part I have another 5 candidates to share their experience and thoughts on the importance of branding and website design.

If you are after a brand revamp, or need a new website, why not get in touch and we can talk about it!...
After all, in this day and age, branding and online presence is a must! 

6 design facts that startups need to know

Design, Branding, StartupKrishna SolankiComment

Startup founders are very busy people, they usually have lots going on majority of the time.  A lot of things to keep in mind, to remember, to chase up, to finalise, to understand, to know....The list is endless.

From a designers perspective I thought I would list 6 facts that Startups need to know when it comes to design.

As design is a very broad field, I figured to choose 3 branding facts, and 3 web design facts.

6 design facts startups need to know

Branding facts

1 | consistency is key

Every startup business should make this a priority when it comes to speaking or communicating messages to the outside world.  By outside world I mean, to their customers, clients, competition, suppliers, everyone and everything that your brand comes in contact with.

2 | It pays to be branded

Apparently, 66% of consumers (in the US) are willing to pay more for a product if the brand delivers a positive customer experience.  This means, if your startup delivers a customer experience that is memorable, positive, and reinforced by branding then it is more likely that you will gain loyalty as well. 

3 | Brands have value

Investing in your startups brand can increase value in your business.  As a result this can change/sway your clients/customers/consumers buying decision.  Interbrand states that in 2014 Apple was ranked number 1 with a brand value of $118, 863M, this was an increase of 21%.

Arguably people are generally willing to pay more for a branded product/service than for an unbranded one.

[Are you in need of a rebrand? or just a logo update? Why not check out my portfolio and my services to see if we would be a good fit.]

web design facts

1 | web design is more than just beautiful imagery and well written text.

Although both of those definitely help, web design is also about placement, spacing, layout, call to actions, priority, balance, focus and scannability.  There are probably a few more elements as well, however they are the first that came to my mind!  According to Nielson Nornan Group, 47% of websites have a usability improvement if the layout is scannable. 

[Related post : YOUR STARTUP WEBSITE NEEDS...WORDS WORDS WORDS!]

2 | every browser renders code differently

When viewing a website on your macbook at home via Google Chrome you may find that it looks different to when you viewed the same website from your work PC via Mozilla Firefox.  Sounds crazy but it's true.  The way the browser reads and passes (renders) the code differs and therefore what gets translated on the screen will differ.  Internet Exploer is notorious for being hated by designers and developers alike, for this very reason.

Tackling this issue is where hiring a professional to do the job comes in handy.  They have the knowledge and the experience to know how to ensure the site looks its best and how its meant to via compatibility testing. 

3 | responsive web design is the way forward

According to Factbrowser, 72% of the 47M UK digital audience access the internet via multiple devices.  The point is, as technology advances giving consumers more ways to get online to see your startups product or service, it would be a mistake to not provide them with the information in the way they want to see it - whether that be on a desktop, tablet or mobile device. Your website should respond, it should be responsive.

So as a founder, a few small point to remember when it comes to your startups branding or website.

If you are in need of a logo, some branding work, or a website then why not get in touch and see if we could work together!

What branding and web design facts do you know? Do you agree with the ones I  have highlighted?  As a startup, did you find this interesting?  Let me know your thoughts! 


your startup website needs...words words words!

Design, StartupSally TudhopeComment

I truly believe copy and design go hand in hand. It is ONE OF THE most important things on your website and can do wonders for your startup business...that's if you get it right and make it work for you on your website.

The following article is a guest post by Sally Tudhope. (Thanks Sally!! :) )

Your startups website needs words..words..words...

I get it.  You’re full of excitement at getting your startup off the ground. You have so much to share and you just want to get your website up and get going, like, yesterday!

And I hear you.  This thing has been in your head for so long, and you want to reach people and change some lives (and yes, it’s okay to say it - make some money).

First though, you need to figure out what you’re going to say.

Yes, I’m talking about copy.  The words on your website.  (I can hear you groaning. Don’t think I can’t hear you groaning.)

Words entice, empower and educate

The words you put on your website are so important that some designers won’t even start a website design project without them.  Words entice, empower, educate and intrigue, and you need to know what you want to say before you start putting it into little boxes and sticking borders around it.

A web design has to honour the things you want to say to your customers – it has to showcase your words in the best possible way.  If you get someone to create you a design before you’ve figured out what you want to say on each page of your website, you might find you’re having to cram your long, loving introduction into three short lines, ten words a line, centred between your header and your products and services boxes.

Just like every other design out there.

Do yourself, your brilliant new startup and your wonderful clients a favour and spend some time (hint: a lot) on getting your copy right before you get that website created.  I guarantee you’ll have a better, more unique website because you took the time up front.

Get a helping hand

You don’t have to do it all yourself.  If you’re struggling to get your thoughts down, hire a copywriter.  They’re great at this stuff.  They can make you sound more you (if that's the aim), draw out your stories, tap into what makes you magnetic to your right people.

Whether you do it yourself, or have it done for you, you won’t regret taking the time to figure out what you want to say. 

And I promise you, not only will you be helping the designer, but you will also be helping yourself, your startup and your clients too.

It's an all round WIN-WIN situation!

- Sally Tudhope - www.sallytudhope.com

Have you compiled your website copy yourself? How did it go? - Was the process easy for you/your designer? Let me know how it went.. I'd love to know!