My Approach to Web Design

an aging leather toolbelt hangs from a partially built home, our own actually, in the North County of La Plata, Colorado

The concept of design, all too often perhaps, brings to mind something visual. A designer dress, the design for your wedding invitations, a design you may have come up with for aa business card.

And sure, these are all examples of things that have been designed.

We all too often don’t realize that design also includes architectural design, where form meets function and doesn’t simply allow function to get in the way. Computer systems are designed, AI is now being designed to one day rule over us as though we weren’t all raised on some iteration of the Terminator movies. Design is something much grander than just pretty pictures (though, admittedly, we all love those too.)

My approach to design is to have two things happen when someone visits your website, in this order in most cases:

  1. Have them take the action(s) you’d like them to take.
  2. Make it easy for them to find the relevant information they may just really want instead.

Think about it, your website is an extension of your business. It’s a way to convince the masses not ready to pick up the phone or drive to your location, that they should hire you. Or visit. Or buy something from you. You want them to take an action, and the way your site is designed should influence them along that course.

You’d like them to, what?

  • Complete a quote form.
  • Buy a t-shirt.
  • Reserve a table.

Make it extraordinarily clear how to do that, and why to follow through with it. Make it simple, at least, and fun when possible.

At the same time, you don’t want to make them hunt for information they may be looking for. A restaurant menu, phone number and directions should be front and center. Have you ever gone to a website to look for pricing? It’s often impossible to find, and sometimes for good reason — many craftsman, tailors and landscapers, for instance, can’t just provide one-size-fits-all pricing.

But those who can give someone an idea of what to expect will do three things:

  • Give potential customers the info they’re looking for.
  • Cut down on a ton of phone calls from those who can’t afford your services.
  • Spend more time doing their work instead of chatting up costs over the phone.

Just as an exit sign is different from a restroom sign, web design is all about helping people find their way around your website in the most convenient way possible, while giving you the best chance of making the sale or getting the lead you’re after, not just more email in your inbox.