Web Design: Expectations vs. Reality

April 16, 2019 by Ally Nagle | Web Designer

By 2019, we are all aware at this point that websites dominate the digital marketing world. Basically every reputable or successful business has a functional website. They are necessary and beneficial for a multitude of reasons and the masses are now more familiar with this than ever before. However, when it comes to truly understanding and appreciating the topic of website design and development, there are many popular misconceptions. Here’s a quick dose of reality in response to some of the most common misjudgments:

Web Design isn’t easy. You shouldn’t let any Tom, Ally or Harry build your site.

Design skills and creativity are specialized talents that require a deep understanding of design principles, best practices, and technical knowledge. You wouldn’t hire a receptionist at your doctor’s office to perform your surgery, so don’t recruit your next-door neighbor to design your website, even though he seems like a really smart guy. There are underlying strategies and methodology to why and how a site is designed and laid out so having a strong understanding of user interactivity and back-end processes is crucial; not to mention that most non-designers won’t know how to foresee technical issues and proactively build a site to ensure it runs smoothly. Sometimes a simple update in WordPress could cause an entire site to crash. What will Tom, Ally or Harry do then?

When it comes to design, the client is NOT always right.

Web designers are also your mentors when it comes to a successful and professional website. The only goal that tops our desire to deliver an end product that “WOWs” both you and your client visually, is the goal to ensure that the site functions and caters to visitors as intended. Your company’s brand identity and mission should be clearly defined when viewing their website, but you shouldn’t neglect classic design principles such as proper contrast, spacing, alignment, and so on. Sometimes designers have no choice but to pump the breaks on ideas that aren’t in your best interest, and a level of trust has to be established between client and designer. At the end of the day, you want your website to be visually satisfying to the most people and prompt them to take a desired action on your site such as calling your office or submitting a contact form. Proper design will guide them to do what you want them to do.

You won’t see an influx of visitors as soon as the site is done.

Many people don’t know this, but Google and other popular search engines can take a while to index new websites or new changes to an existing website. There will always be somewhat of a waiting period after a site is launched before you start to see any organic traffic, even if your website has been loaded up with SEO keywords and meta tags. Your website is going to serve as the online face of your business and your brand, and it’s always a good idea to incorporate other digital advertising techniques to drive people to your website.

Website Launched ≠ Job Done

Just like buying a new car, regular maintenance and updates are necessary on an ongoing basis for websites to continue to function optimally and stay up-to-par with changing web trends, standards, and browser advancements. Also, regular edits or updates to your website help search engine rankings because it’s telling Google that your site is relevant and active. It’s also suggested that websites be redesigned about every 5-6 years.

Tons of functions and animation don’t always mean a better website.

It’s never a bad idea to implement tools into your site that create a better user experience for your visitors. Having a few elements that showcase animation and set you apart creatively are nice as well. However, you don’t want to go overboard on pop ups, chat widgets, moving text, and the like because of the potential to confuse and distract visitors. At the end of the day, people have a specific goal they want to accomplish when they visit your site such as finding a phone number, reading a menu, or purchasing a product. The more elements that get in the way or slow the user down from accomplishing those goals, will hurt your business. Often in web design, less is more, but that doesn’t mean that good design will be compromised.

Be wary of cheap or inexpensive web design prices.

Have you ever heard the expression “you get what you pay for”? Of course we all have, and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to your website. It can be tempting to hire a company or designer claiming to build you a whole new site for 250 bucks, but trust us, that kind of price means far too few hours spent on your project – more than likely sacrificing some of the most important aspects of a good website build. Great web design entails countless hours of design planning, testing and fine-tuning. If you think of it in terms of a standard hourly wage, you can understand how costs add up. Try to view web design in the same way as you would any other refined skill (doctors, lawyers, plumbers…) and what most people are accustomed to paying for these types of professionals and their hours of work. It makes more sense to understand the cost of web design when you are looking at it from the perspective of time and creative energy spent, rather than a finished product.

You shouldn’t rely on Google for your website images.

A business could have a website that is gorgeously laid out and perfectly functional, but if it incorporates images with poor resolution or large file sizes, this could ruin an otherwise great site. It is absolutely imperative that websites only use the highest resolution images that contribute to your overall design and are properly optimized for the web (preventing loading and performance issues). Also, randomly plucking images you like from the internet can put you at risk of copywrite infringement. Don’t be scared to invest in good photographs! It makes a huge difference.

Still have questions about web design? Feel free to contact us any time!



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