Website design is a great opportunity for your small businesses to tell visitors about your values without saying a word. Many small businesses put little effort into their websites or completely forego them, not realizing how much of a key component they can be in growing their audience
To help your small business feel like a big player, think about ways your web design can help you communicate with your market. Here are some great ways to do this:
Make a Personal Connection After the First Click
Many businesses can feel impersonal — even dry or detached — in what they do. Your business can put a stop to this feeling immediately by supplying a human element right on your home page.
Use images and copy in such a way as to tell your visitor about how you help out people and not abstract ideas. A real estate firm, for instance, can show images of families standing outside of their new homes to communicate how your firm helps people move on to a new step of their lives. Even industrial mega giant Koch Industries uses this tactic on their home page, displaying images of workers and clients to emphasize the human connections their business makes.
Let Your Visual and Navigation Elements Reflect Your Values
You do not need to create some newfangled, over-conceptualized web layout to tell a story about what your business does. Something as simple as a splash image, a color scheme or the way you arrange your text can have a huge impact on how your business positions itself to visitors.
Restaurants have an enormous potential to use this tactic to their advantage. Take, for example, these two restaurant websites. One is a hip, gourmand-focused bakery that has a lot of textures in the pictures they use and the way they arrange their text. The other is a lobster shack-style restaurant that wants to emphasize simplicity through their centered framing, sparse text and minimalistic color scheme.
Both want to create a sense of fun and suggest that people will get what they love out of their restaurant, but they use two very different approaches to appeal to their respective audiences.
Encourage Exploration with Your Design
The best web designs use layouts that not only appeal to the sensibilities of their target audience, but also invite the same people to discover more about what lies on your website. Clever incorporation of design elements into navigation can get users excited about exploring deeper.
This apartment leasing website for the San Francisco market uses an image of a fun and hip open kitchen to set the tone. The text is bright but not garish, and scrolling down gives more visual “treats” in the form of colorful images and tidbits of information.
When you reach the “meat” of the site — the real estate listings — you get even more visual fun that is also practical by seeing the floor plan of each available apartment.
Sites like these demonstrate that you do not have to overthink your design for it to have an effect on the way users feel when they visit.
Information Does Not Have to be Boring
Some sites have very dry content that you think would be too dull to make interesting, but life is always interesting as long as you know how to look at it.
For example, Southwest Florida’s Water Management District Website has a recreation page that is anything but bland. Each site has beautiful images of nature that create an instant connection to the idea of going on an adventure. Individual pages all use a fun template that displays information and text in a way that makes it easy to read and visually appealing.
Sites like these help increase the visibility of the services they promote, even if those services may seem boring or disconnected at first glance. The key is to always think about ways to use design elements to work for you in unique ways instead of just taking them for granted. A good, well-branded website always tells a story and is anything but generic.
To learn more about how your website can speak volumes regarding your small business, take a look at our website design services page.