Depending on who you ask, you’ll receive a different answer to the question: what is the most important aspect of a website? Some would suggest the product offering is the most important thing, while others would cite the SEO and ad layout as being integral. Others cite the navigability and ease of use as part of the user experience as being the most important factor. Most designers will tell you that the design is the most significant aspect of a website. But is it?
How Important is the Design?
According to a report, 94% of first impressions relate to a website’s design. This shows that there is a significant correlation between good design and a successful website. Furthermore, 75% of your credibility comes from the design. It stands to reason that if your web design is good, you are skilled in something. Poorly designed websites make people think the products or services themselves might not be as good – or at least, that you don’t care about what you’re doing enough to present it well.
When we talk about a well-functioning website and how it is designed, we often talk about the look. Every brand has its own color scheme, logos, and elements that are drawn together to personify it as a brand. Well designed websites will immediately showcase these features to customers so that they grasp the essence of the brand from the first click. For example, the Steak-umm sliced meat site sums up the brand with its use of social media, it’s quirky design, and tongue-in-cheek messaging.
Sleek, Well-Designed Sites
We also talk about sites that are sleekly designed and offer clean corners and as little text as possible. Reflecting their simplicity in high fashion, Yves Saint Laurent’s website brings together their collection with a sleek and clean website. There’s no confusing text, no scrolling necessary, just the basic information needed. Similarly, the Aston Martin website focuses on the lifestyle the car brand offers and not on trying to sell its models. It shows the car in action and doesn’t focus on price points and sales.
Some sites do find success in talking about their star products, though. They place products that customers might be most likely to engage with front and center. Where more information on a product may be needed, they ensure they provide it. The sleeveless blanket company Slanket use their website to persuade through positive reviews of their primary product, which are accompanied by images to make very clear what the product and its uses are. In another field, by explaining the rules and strategy involved in roulette, Betway gives further information for customers on one of its top services – its multiple roulette games. Customers will leave the page understanding anything they didn’t previously know about the game. Elsewhere, the SPANX shapewear website focuses on explaining the different styles it offers on the homepage, immediately explaining to customers which pair of pants they might want or need.
Ease of use is crucial for a website to keep customers engaged and a website needs to be responsive. Wikipedia is a great example of being easy to navigate, especially as most other concepts on one page will have links to them. Redbubble similarly shows customers other products similar to those they might like. The customer doesn’t have to leave the page as the site will offer to them things they may have not even realized they wanted to find.
Some sites are off-putting by being hard to use. Many local news sites jump around too much and feature too many ad spots, which deters people from reading through to the end of an article. Many internet users lampoon the local and regional press online for this and it has become a good example of how not to lay out a website.
Streaming platform Hayu is also critiqued by users for not being intuitive enough. The site will regularly restart episodes from the beginning and make shows that users have watched before more difficult to find. Compared to other streaming sites that collect data on what users might want to watch, this seems very counter-intuitive to a seamless viewing experience.
The design of a website is undeniably important, but this encompasses many other factors. Not only does the site need to be sleekly designed and to work fast enough, but it also needs to focus on the key products it wants to attract customers to and be easy to use. All of these features can be summed up as being important, making good design one of the most important factors for a website.