How Web Design Affects Perceptions of Your Brand

Is your web design hurting your brand? Did you even know that the layout, design and aesthetics of your website have an effect on your brand image? Believe it or not, they do.

These days even the low-end and budget-friendly smartphones can display advanced web pages just fine. That means, if you’re website isn’t visually appealing, professional or trendy, your customers are going to know it. In fact, in many cases customers will take their business elsewhere after coming across an outdated or poorly designed website. After all, if you can’t spend a little extra to get your website looking nice, what does that say about your company?

We’re going to take a look at some ways – good and bad – that web design can alter the general perception of your brand.

How Web Design Affects your Brand

There are tons of vital elements to a successful web design, so many that if we were to discuss every one, we’d need dozens – if not hundreds – of pages. We’re just going to keep it simple and discuss the most important ones that have a significant impact on your brand image.

Usability

Have you ever been to a website that incurred painfully long loading times? Have you ever been shopping on a site online only to become frustrated with the checkout system? Do you ever run across those sites that throw 40,000 pop-ups at you to register while you’re trying to read an article?

All of these things affect the usability of your website. To put it bluntly: you don’t want any of the situations described above to happen on your own site. You do not want to frustrate, hamper or harass your customers.

Especially when it comes to offering a mobile friendly or responsive version of your site, you want to keep user interaction as minimal as possible. Of course, your visitors are going to have to interact with different navigation elements, options and buttons – that’s not the point. If the usability of your website is low, and you are continuously causing your visitors and customers grief, it is going to impact your brand image negatively.

It’s the same thing as if customers were to run into an issue in a brick-and-mortar store. The more problems they have, the less likely they are to return. Furthermore, they’re more apt to speak ill of your company or brand when they have a bad experience.

Content at the Forefront

One mistake that web designers sometimes make, is they add content to a site after the initial layout and elements have been placed. This is bad, especially for content heavy sites like news providers, publications or blogs. Depending on what kind of typography and fonts you decide to use, various elements can interfere with the content causing distractions or flat out masking it.

For example, if you throw a full-featured background on your site, the colors in the image might make your fonts difficult to see. In some cases, the image may not even match your content, or in a worst case scenario may even contradict it.

The point here is that your customers are coming to your site to view your content and products. Sure, design is extremely important but that doesn’t mean your content should take a backseat. The best way to combat this problem is to create most of your content in advance and put it in place in the initial phase of the design process.

Take a look at this site, and you’ll notice right away that their content takes center stage. All the different page elements, fonts and colors have been tailored to match the content or at the very least show it off. There are no distractions, no background elements to interfere with the fonts and the flow is seamless – that is viewers can just progress naturally as they consume the content. That is exactly how design should work.

If your customers are finding it difficult to access or view your content, then they’re not going to stick around and they’re definitely not going to come back. The content is the meat of the site. If you can’t access it, then there’s no reason to be there, plain and simple. In addition, it just makes your brand look sloppy and unprepared.

Responsive and Mobile Friendly

Nearly everyone carries a smartphone, and you better believe they use it to browse the web. If a visitor doesn’t have the same experience on their mobile device as they do on a desktop, they’re not going to be happy. Worse yet, if they can’t even access your website from a mobile device, you are going to lose a lot of business.

The best practice is to employ a responsive design, which means it can adapt to the device the user is browsing on – regardless of screen size. Some web designers still develop an entirely separate mobile site using a sub-domain. We definitely recommend going with a responsive design over a separate site, but make sure you have at least one of those handy for your customers.

If you do not offer a mobile friendly version of your website – which offers customers the freedom to do as they please on the go – they are going to see your brand as outdated as your web design strategy. It gives the impression that you are not on top of current trends, but more importantly that you care little about your customers.

Successful Web Design is Integral to Brand Image

These are just a few ways that web design can affect brand image, but you can clearly see how influential the process is. Next time you put a site together – or the next time you redesign your site – keep these things in mind. Better yet, always be sure to stay on top of your site and keep it user-friendly, responsive and up to date.



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