Highly Functional Website Design
Form Follows Function
Have you ever walked into a building designed by a famous architect? Or perhaps even a commercial building designed by a less-famous architect.
Designers in our time will often tell you that form follows function.
We’ve seen this statement hold true in many commercial real estate photography projects we have worked on in the past.
The exterior of a building will tell you what type of occupant occupies that space. And, after you walk in the door, the architecture and layout should guide you to where you need to go.
For example, you can walk into a doctor’s office. You will most likely open the door to a clear pathway leading to the check-in desk. Afterward, you turn around and sit in the seating area because that is the only place available for you to go.
Likewise, if you enter a popular burger restaurant (where 5 dudes make burgers), there is an obvious place to enter the line to order your food. Afterward, you will walk directly towards the drink fountain and condiments. And finally, you will find a place to sit in the open seating area.
Finally, if you walk into a large retail home & garden store, you are greeted by shopping carts and large, open aisles that encourage you to explore the store (and add items to your shopping cart).
Website Design Informs Users
We believe websites should function in much the same way. High-quality website design informs the user how to proceed.
Do you want your website users to get to know your business through a story? Then your website will be text-based.
Are stunning pieces of artwork or photography your specialty? Then your website will be much like ours, with a balance of text and images.
Is your brand focused on your unique style? We would encourage you to embrace strong visual graphics and bold colors in your website’s design.
How will a high-quality web designer know what type of website to design for you? By listening.
We mentioned previously that our design process begins with a conversation. We want to know what drives your business. What challenges do you face and what strengths do you have in the marketplace? How can we bring more work to your business?
Of course, there are many different strategies to address these questions, but website design is a great place to start.
Start with Website Design
With a strategic website design, your overall design scheme (font choice, colors, graphic elements) will immediately identify your business and enhance your branding.
You will impart trust to your user. You will begin to address the needs of your clients through subtle cues taken from the psychology of color.
Research shows that colors change how we perceive brands. This is the reason we encourage strong branding with an easy-to-identify logo before beginning a website design project.
After you have gained trust with your audience with basic design elements, the layout of your website will subtly direct your website user to move through your site.
Sure, there are some standards of website design (navigation at the top, content in the middle, footer at the bottom), but the possibilities are endless when it comes to website design.
Your website will give you the opportunity to captivate your audience, direct them to see what you want them to see, and offer them the products or services you want them to act on. Sure, your website will be robust with plenty of options, but you can choose what elements will catch your client’s eye.
Let us return to the large retail home & garden store example for a moment. When you walk into the entrance, you are greeted by a friendly face. And after that friendly face, there will be a large open section of the store devoted to seasonal items.
When was the last time you went to a tool store to buy a Christmas tree? Or a wreath? You were most likely on your way to the lumber or paint department (or plumbing, or…). But the retail store wanted you to see those seasonal items in hopes that you would make an impulse purchase.
Those same strategies (product or information placement) are also used in website design. Your website users will be moved to action when you use a highly functional layout coupled with powerful branding.
But you won’t get that level of professional customization with a kid designing websites in his mom’s basement.
Three Vistas can help you make calculated decisions about your website’s design that will bring a return on your investment. You will be a trusted resource in your industry. You will have a team on your side with the design know-how to turn website users into business clients.