Lessons from over a decade of web design experience

Experience is the greatest teacher. This is true of just about everything, even in the world of web design where things are constantly changing and evolving.

For us, this is not just a good feeling or a generalization. After years of working with clients, we are better now than ever before. The big wins and hard knocks that we took on the way to becoming recognized as one of the fastest growing agencies in Brazil in the area of  ​​Web Design  taught us some lessons that we couldn’t have picked up any other way.

 

1 – It all starts with industry knowledge

One thing new customers tend to notice about us is that we like to ask a lot of questions. This is no accident. We discovered a long time ago that everything in the world of web design and  digital marketing  – from the layout you put on your homepage to the keywords you choose to target on  Google  – needs to flow from an understanding of what your business is. business and who your customers are. If you don’t have the right information or fail to share it with your creative team, you’ll never reach your full sales and marketing potential.

2 – Excellence in web design has two parts

Many clients find that a great web design is one that looks good on screen. However, making the most of the aesthetic is only half the challenge. To create a great design, you need the right look and feel and a highly usable layout that feels intuitive to your visitors. Otherwise, you just have a piece of art that isn’t going to help you sell your products or services.

3 – You can’t lead by copying your competitors

It’s not uncommon for a customer to come to us essentially wanting to copy something a competitor has done. We always try to dissuade them from that instinct. While it’s not a bad idea to use a competitor’s website or marketing campaign as inspiration or a starting point, you can’t really stand out in a crowded digital world by doing the same thing as everyone else. If you want to be a leader, you have to set the tone instead of following it.

4 – You can really go far outside the box

This may seem to contradict the last point, but the idea is to keep everything in balance. While you certainly want your site to stand out, you don’t want to be too weird. Every now and then we see a layout or navigation structure so unusual that it becomes difficult for people to  navigate the site . If people have a hard time using or understanding your website, you can’t be surprised when it doesn’t help you achieve your sales and marketing goals.

5 – Content can make or break your layout

Humans are very visual creatures. We tend to notice colors, shapes and faces before anything else – both on the web and in real life. This leaves many clients focused on the design aspects of a web presence. This is understandable, but myopic. The content on your site  (in terms of high quality text and images) can make or break everything. It will help you set the emotional tone, attract search engine visits, and ultimately convince visitors to become customers.

6 – Good programming makes a big difference

If the power of content is routinely overlooked, then the importance of things like website programming and hosting can often be overlooked altogether. In addition to great messaging, a website needs clean programming that allows it to load quickly, display beautifully on small screens, and run the apps you need to meet your sales and marketing goals. If it doesn’t meet any of these requirements, then it doesn’t really matter how big your layout is. Know  what a responsive website is about .

7 – Great websites still need marketing

There was a time, many years ago, when you could just build a great website and have customers come to it constantly. Or, you can earn quite a bit of traffic by doing a very small amount  of website optimization . Unfortunately, that era is gone. No matter how strong your website is, you will have to promote it – through Google, paid ads, email and social media platforms – if you want to make your website profitable. Don’t assume you can just sit back and wait for online shoppers to show up on their own.

8 – Sites require care and maintenance

It’s easy to forget, after investing a significant amount of time and money in a new  institutional website , that your job isn’t done. Not only should you be thinking ahead for marketing and content additions, but also for future web analytics-based updates and revisions. A well maintained website can last for many years. Ignore yours, however, and you might find yourself getting feedback to rephrase it much sooner than you could have imagined.

9 – Your website can be used for multitasking

You probably want your website to generate new revenue and you should definitely help you do that by processing orders or attracting leads from search engines, social media, or other digital marketing efforts. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your website is just a sales and marketing tool, though. You can also use it for customer service, scheduling, training, employee management, public relations, data automation, and more. The possibilities are practically endless.

10 – Web design trends change, but principles don’t

We’ve seen a lot of trends and best practices come and go in the last decade. This can give business owners the feeling that web design is always changing. There is certainly an element of adapting to our industry, but the fundamental principles that drive our business (and yours) are constant. If you build a website that matches your company’s strengths and the needs of your customers, you will likely find success. The rest comes down to details and tactics.

As we mentioned, experience is the best teacher. And unfortunately for our youth and newer competitors, there is no substitute for learning by doing.