Online Dress Code: Matching Your Web Design to Your Business
Good web design doesn’t just do the job of letting visitors easily navigate your website. If it is really good, it follows a certain overarching scheme, and corresponds to what kind of business the website represents.
Therefore, despite web design trends being more or less the same for all industries and website types, there are certain principles one is supposed to follow to avoid creating websites that would be awkward, weird and inconsistent with their contents.
The color scheme you choose can speak volumes about your website and your business, both overtly and subliminally. Ask any web designer or designer in general, and you will learn a lot about how to choose colors to send a message to your visitors. For example, various shades of blue are associated with stability, security and trustworthiness, which is why they are most often preferred by banks, real estate agencies, lawyers and so on. Black is often used by premium-level shops, as it is perceived as elegant, sophisticated and sleek. Red is associated with urgency, danger and excitement – for example, the choice of deep-red background for No Way USA is very natural, for it is aimed at attracting attention to the perceived danger of NSA and constant surveillance.
When Inconsistency Is Consistent
You can, of course, try to be original and choose a color palette that is uncharacteristic for businesses working in your particular area of expertise – and sometimes it can even be done to a great effect, especially if you can provide a justification for this choice (a “Why we are different” message). Take the example of Thirty Six Months – a financial blog that looks more like something about fashion design. If, however, it is not a result of careful choice but simply a poorly chosen color palette, it will simply mean that visitors are going to be aware that there is something wrong about your website – even if they cannot put their collective finger on what it is exactly.
One of the major mistakes businesses make (especially small businesses, the owners of which don’t have a lot of experience in managing their online presence) is designing websites that don’t correspond to the kind of business they run. Usually they try to make design original and interesting, which results in busy, flashy, cluttered, constantly moving monstrosities that shock the eye, annoy the visitors and repel them in the long run.
It is especially natural for business and finance websites (e.g., Elite Personal Finance) to have a rather minimalistic design– they don’t have much in terms of flashiness and colorful elements designed to glue the reader’s eye to them. In fact, they try to eliminate everything that would distract the visitor from using the site according to its intended purpose. They are also inclined to have a subdued, unobtrusive color palette that makes reading them easier and prevents distractions.
Moving elements like sliders can be usually found on websites dedicated to entertainment, stores, restaurants and so on. They are equally popular among design agencies and IT companies, as they provide an excellent way to showcase the company’s products (take a look at Grow Interactive). Sliders have been getting more and more popular in the recent years due to the ever-growing share of mobile Internet users – for sliders make online surfing into a much more natural experience.
And, as we are speaking of online “dress code”, don’t forget that whichever industry your website represents, it should be well-dressed – in the way that is accepted in this industry. Having a sloppily designed website with outdated design and stale content is something along the same lines as walking around in grubby and threadbare clothing. It isn’t something that looks well, no matter what your line of work is.