Skip to content News Background
Webbed Feet UK, web developers in Salisbury, Wiltshire

An idiot’s guide to website design

The point is that if you don’t know how to make a successful website then you’re certainly not an idiot, in fact you’re more than likely in the same situation as most people and, I hate to say it, but also many website designers.

Let’s forget about the technicalities of building a website as there are many options available ranging from free ‘build your own’ website generators, to custom website designers such as ourselves.

We can also forget about the aesthetics at this stage as, although the look is important, it surprisingly isn’t necessarily the most important element in website design.

There are two tricks that you need to do in order to build a successful website:

  1. Put yourself in your users’ shoes.
  2. Consider the complete user journey.

What I mean by this is to try and forget any knowledge that you have as an expert in your field, and don’t assume that users understand everything that you do. Rather than concentrating on how you see your business, try and look at it from their point of view. They probably don’t want to hear the same things that you want to tell them.

I’d love to tell you what language and systems we use to build our websites and I’d love to use technical jargon, but you probably don’t want to hear that. As a potential client it’s more likely that you’ll want to know how we can help you generate more business in the quickest way possible without costing the world.

Once you have this mind-set you need to think of the users’ journeys. Start at the beginning; who are your target clients and how are they likely to look for you? Whether this is search engines, social media or email newsletters, how should you approach them, and what is it exactly that they’d like to hear?

What will encourage them to click through to your website, what page should they land on and what is it they will want to see? What do you need to show them so that they want to find out more, and is it obvious for them what they need to do next? There needs to be a clear path, or user-journey all the way from your initial contact, through every page of your website, and on to you either making an online sale or communicating with them.

It’s important that every detail is covered as every obstacle you give users along their journey will result in a loss of sales. For example a phone number may seem a very minor point, but can people find it? On mobile websites can people click the number to instantly make a call (they may not have a pen and paper)? What does a mobile number or a particular local area code say about you as a business? Do you answer your phone all day, every day (it’s amazing how many people lose clients in this way)? If you don’t, do you have an answerphone in place and do you reply promptly? Do you call back anyone who doesn’t like leaving a message?

It all seems fairly obvious once it’s explained, but the key in making a successful website is to ensure that you really examine every stage of the users’ journeys in as much detail as you can, and that you put yourself in their shoes to maximise the chances that they move to the next step in the sales process.

Seem easy enough? Well in principal it is, it really is an idiot’s guide in making a website successful.

Of course the tricky bit is doing this effectively, and that’s where it’s good to have a third party doing this, someone with years of experience who is more likely to spot any issues within the journey.

If you need any help, or would like us to have a look at your sales journey, then please feel free to speak to one of our experts and we’d be glad to help.

We are web designers in Salisbury, we are Webbed Feet UK.

This article is categorised within:

Online Marketing Website Design