3 Reasons Why Hiring A Designer Matters When It Comes To Your Website
There are tons of free or remarkably cheap build-your-own website solutions out there and unusually for a web designer I actually have no problem with this. I will quite often assist clients with their WIX or Squarespace websites.
Your business might be just starting out or maybe you’re budget is tight which makes a build-your-own website the ideal starting point. I would much rather all businesses have an online presence than none at all and I understand that progression or phasing is often an initial necessity for startups in particular. If you’ve taken your time to setup your own website I applaud you and without knowing you personally I already know how driven you are to make your business succeed.
On the other hand your website might be self-hosted (WordPress) and you took the decision to hire someone to build your website. Great! Or maybe not?
I often see first or second phase websites that have been built by a designer or developer that look great design wise but under the hood it’s a complete train wreck. How’s a client to know this if they don’t understand how a website is meant to work, function or whether all the fundamentals are in place. Have you had the wool pulled over your eyes? Or maybe your website is old generation and been left unattended for too long.
I ask all website owners - self built or otherwise - to take a moment and honestly consider whether their website could be performing better for their business and whether bad design, poor user experience or a lack of optimisation is holding them back.
Perhaps you are able to produce great graphics yourself and by using a pre-made template or a website builder such as WIX or Squarespace feel you can easily piece it all together. But what about usability, user experience, heading tags, search engine optimised content and image optimisation, amongst other things? These all form part of your design and build and are often left neglected in self-made websites or cheap builds, seriously impacting website performance and the ability for customers to find you in an online search.
In addition all design is subjective - take a constructive step back and perhaps ask your customers, friends or family for some honest feedback. True designers love and embrace constructive criticism.
Here are my three main reasons why hiring a Web Designer matters - whether it's a WordPress self-hosted solutions or a Squarespace or WIX website (I provide design and build services, or design only for all three by the way!) :
The chances a potential customer will end up on your website via a search or referral is high. It’s the first thing we all do when looking for products or services. Assuming of course that your website content has been well written and correctly tagged for search engine optimisation and that the framework and structure of the website has been built well.
So surely content is key and all that matters?
Certainly good content does increase your website’s Search Engine Rankings (SERPs) but what happens once they get to your website? Does the design make a difference? Yep - it sure does.
It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.
If you go to a website and it looks awful or confusing to navigate, are you likely to stay and look around? Would you feel confident enough to buy products from a website that looks cheaply put together, old fashioned or just plain dodgy.
When you visit a website you experience a subconscious reaction to the site before you have even read one bit of content. You make a first impression based on the overall look and feel of the site.
The bottom line is that your website is an important marketing and communications tool and as such should promote your business and its brands well. It should be inviting and invoke user confidence. If the user has a poor first impression then your content is going to have to be pretty amazing just to try and win them over.
38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive.
Usability and User Experience
Layout, navigation and even colour can play a massive role in whether or not a visitor engages with your website and initiated a conversion (makes contact). If your design is cluttered with badly placed content, the text is poorly formatted, your navigation is confusing, or your colors are distracting, then your design is acting as a deterrent to visitors and visitor engagement.
If given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.
Consistency in layout and formatting styles (fonts, buttons, etc) will also help the user to navigate the site easily.
Designers know how to use design to lead the eye or draw specific attention to something without being too obvious and in your face! We know how to use a certain color to convey a certain theme or creat an emotional reaction.
88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
Good design leads the user through the site, gently suggesting the next page to visit or what call to action to select. Each page maintaining consistency but also providing a fresh experience to cull boredom. Design plays a huge role in this, based on the reasons I have already pointed out like composition, color, etc.
All of these things working together with your content will make for a more controlled and targeted user experience, which will ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.
75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.