Our Visual Designer’s Considerations When Designing a Website

05/06/2019 | Design | 10 minutes

Today, I had the opportunity to have a quick sit down and catch up with our very own Visual Designer, Dan Shelton, to pick his brains over some of the latest industry trends in the ever-changing world of design. Dan sheds some light into the ways that design is changing, and he provides his thoughts into the considerations he now has to assess when working on projects.

So, Dan – have you noticed any particular changes in regards to the way websites are currently being designed?

“It’s almost like everything is becoming more simple again. I see more and more websites veering towards minimalistic designs. I believe simplicity in conjunction with a reduction of unwanted on-page clutter is becoming much more favoured. Website creators now have to really ask themselves what is the relevance of every page or piece of content and question every part of the website by asking is this really necessary? Instead of overloading people with too much information, it’s all about fine tuning your message and/or logo design and giving the end user exactly what they want. I see that site structures are becoming smaller and there are more restrictions that come into consideration when executing designs now, with many factors to consider, such as how content and designs will be displayed on mobile devices and so on.”

So it’s almost like website design is somewhat going back to basics?

“Certainly. I see websites becoming cleaner, simpler to use, better to manage, and also better for technical SEO purposes. What’s paramount is that a site delivers on quality.”

That’s an interesting analysis – why do you think that is?

“Purely I believe it’s down to the fact that people’s browsing habits are changing. Due to the busy lifestyle many of us now lead in today’s world, people want quick access to information and they want to find what they’re looking for in the shortest time possible. A website only has a few seconds to impress the viewer, otherwise they are extremely likely to bounce. If you are searching for a simple answer to a query and you visit a website that is intensely text heavy and doesn’t provide you with a clean answer, the user will be sure to leave your website dissatisfied. This is why it’s important to provide a good user experience and you have to think about how people will be using the website. When designing a website you design for user behaviour, not just based on aesthetics anymore. It’s imperative to focus on the user’s journey, and you have to put yourself in the shoes of the visitor by thinking of how they will be using a website and what direction their experience of the website will take them.”

So it’s possible to have an incredibly attractive website but if it disrupts the user’s experience it can still fall short?

“Definitely. It’s almost like you don’t design a website anymore, you engineer one. By keeping it more simple and through removing unnecessary noise and distractions you can make your customer’s journey both simpler and efficient, ultimately leaving the user happier and with more positive connotations about your brand. Sometimes being trendy and innovative just for the sake of being different doesn’t actually work out, unless of course there is some proper insight and rationale supporting those decisions.”

What different factors would you say helps to inform your decisions when it comes to designing a brand new website?

“My experience as a Visual Designer and working at Urban Element plays a large role when it comes to creating new designs. Through working on numerous projects and continuously developing on a professional level we are able to improve with every design or website build that we undertake. Over time and through experience you start to get an understanding of what works best. We always do our best to execute designs and website builds that are tailored to the client’s needs, with their customers as a core focus.”

“One major aid when I’m tasked with creating new designs is the collaboration between myself and the rest of our team. I will discuss with multiple team members across different divisions to ensure I am equipped with all of the information I need to carry out the best design I can. I will talk to the development team to find out what designs could be possible and also if they have a solution for something I’m struggling to work around. Additionally I will sit down with our digital marketing team to understand how the site may be used to carry the client’s own future marketing and content activities. Essentially, I will pull from various resources within our proficient team in order to get the best end result possible for the client.”

What about in terms of branding?

“I see that companies are increasingly becoming more aware of how their brand comes across online. Nowadays branding goes much further than just a logo. Consistency is the key here. You may have a strong logo design but if your branding across all your platforms does not sync up then it can be extremely unsettling for users. Typography, the colour scheme of a website, and tone of voice in the copy etc. all need to be thoroughly considered with the company’s target audience in mind.”

Thank you very much for your time and thoughts today Dan, it’s greatly appreciated. For a final impression, what would you say are the key lessons you would like the readers of this article to take away?

“Keep it simple, have carefully structured content, merge the website builders and the development and digital team together.”

For more insight with Dan, you can read one of our older articles: Creative web design with Dan

Here at Urban Element, we have evolved over time to structure and guide our content to tie in with clients branding and designs. If you’re looking to redesign your website, or if you’re thinking of undertaking a branding project, we can help to ensure your brand’s message gets delivered effectively and provides your customers with exactly what they need. Get in touch with our adept team today to discuss your how we can help you flourish online.

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