This week we asked one of Worldprofit.com's senior designers,
Cris Anderson, to comment on some of the key elements of
effective design. Here is the interview in it's entirety.
Q: Why should a business hire a professional designer and
A: A professional designer and marketer will be able to evaluate
your needs and give you a site that is effective. Here are a few
things that we consider that an amateur will not.
It is crucial that you have a complimentary layout to the
content of your site. There is no point in having a long
extended full screen web page when you only have one image and a
single paragraph of copy.
The appropriate images must be used and placement is a main
factor. Using improper images can actually confuse visitors and
that is the last thing that we want to do.
The file sizes must be minimized. If it takes too long for your
pages to load, then people will leave.
Marketing is of the utmost importance. An effective marketer
will know how to keep people at your site and help you make
sales. We look at sites and think they are properly designed,
but when they are compared to ones that have been created by a
professional, we realize that they have not considered all of
the factors above. Don't take chances with your company's
reputation. Get a professional designer and marketer to work
with you and create that effective site that you need.
Q: What should businesses look for in hiring a web site designer?
A: Look at their portfolio. When you see quality from a
designer, then quality is what you will get. Often I see design
companies that have portfolios that look like they just started
last week. You do not have to like the colors or even the
layout, but consider if the site is effective. If I complete a
dog grooming site, then look at the site and ask yourself, "Is
this site effective? What are the benefits for me? What do I
get? Why should I stick around?" If you go to a site that you
wouldn't even want to stay at, then why would you want that same
designer to make a site for you?
Q: Cris, tell me what you think is the biggest mistake people
make in their web sites?
A: I believe that people are overly concerned with inundating
their site with dynamic elements. Let me explain. Dynamic means:
"Of or relating to energy or to objects in motion." Static means
that nothing is moving. We often think dynamic is better that
static. This is not always the case. Yes, a flash presentation
or banner is a vital element to success of your site, but if it
is designed improperly, then it is just an eyesore. In the same
type of motion can be so beautifully laid out and effectively
marketed. We don't need scripts or animated gifs all over our
sites to make them effective. People do indeed enjoy motion, so
my suggestion is this: limit the energy on your site to focus on
one thing. This thing should make you money or bring visitors
back. Add flash to your site and loose the annoying animated
gifs. Flash can market your site, whereas animated gifs are
often a distraction.
Q: What factors do you consider when it comes to use of color in
A: As a professional designer for many years, it is my job to
know the --ins and outs-- of color. I do not choose color based
on, "Red is pretty." In certain cultures, color can represent
very negative connotations then in other cultures. You must
determine who the majority of your audience is. Also, there are
many color studies that play a part in choosing color. Did you
know that when subjects were placed in different rooms painted
with certain colors, that yellow made people visibly agitated
within minutes! Color is taken very seriously and chosen to
compliment the theme and product of a site. If I do a site for a
hiking company, then I will undoubtedly use earth tones, whereas
a cruise site will get "sunny and warm" colors. I think most of
us can agree that grays are not a good choice for a cruise site!
Q: What factors do you consider when it comes to use of fonts in
A: A font is defined as, "A complete set of type of one size and
face." Font shapes and sizes can portray many different
emotions. If you use a font that does not fit with the theme of
your site, then it can appear disjointed. Just think...what font
would you pick for a site called, "Giraffes-R-us?" A font can
compliment graphics and copy or direct the eye. If you want one
thing to stand out, then you can imply change the font. Imagine
the entire page was in a certain font and then the title was in
another. It would draw your eye to it as it is isolated and
different from the other fonts.
Q: What in your opinion makes the difference for a site design
that is effective vs. not effective.
A: Do I want to stay? I can look back at sites I have completed
years ago and say that was a great design! Sure...I've learned
more effects, more gold and silver textures and all that fun
stuff that everybody loves, but when I look back at some of my
old designs, I think wow. It's clean, it's solid, and I want to
stay! I look at some sites that are cheap and I think "Wow,
Somebody learned how to use Kai's power tools or Eye Candy!" You
see, your parents and friends and co-workers may think that
having everything beveled on your site is cool, but it just ends
up looking cheap. We often confuse great graphics and effects
with effective design. A site can have the most wonderful
graphics you've ever seen, but that does not mean that it is an
effective design. Marketing, graphics, fonts, and colors must
all work in co-relation with each other to produce a site that
effectively gets you sales and visitors.
Q: Once the design is done what is the critical factor that
online businesses must consider and plan for.
A: Realize that it takes hard work to make money online. We have
very active site owners making sales daily, whereas some do not
make any sales at all. Some people realize that they have to put
an effort into e-commerce and then yes, there is a huge payoff!
Online marketing and e-commerce does work! Understand though,
that people are not going to visit your site and buy without any
interaction from you. You must use all the tools and know inside
and out the product that you are selling.
A system for success is critical. Most businesses new to the web
try to reinvent the wheel. You don't have to do this! Over six
years ago at Worldprofit we developed dozens of sure-fire ways
to build a business online. How do we know what works? We only
recommend to you, the software, tools and resources we use
ourselves every single day to build our own business. Ready to
get started? Want the insider secrets before you make costly
mistakes? Email, mailto:email@example.com
About the author:
Cris Anderson, PhotoShop Guru, is a member of the Worldprofit
Design Team. Let our expert design marketers work for you!