What to consider before you hire a website designer

What to consider before you hire a website designer

10 things you should know before you hire a website designer.

There are many aspects of creating a website design. Web designers often have to play multiple roles and be very knowledgeable about building effective and usable websites.

Most of the lessons we’ve learned in web design comes from work experience; learning is an iterative process and there is no better way to gain knowledge than to make mistakes (and then and learning from them).
We will discuss the Top 10 things you should know before you hire a website designer.
1. Will the designer Optimize Web Graphics for Better Page Load Times
Optimising web graphics by selecting the proper format and making sure that it’s as small as it can possibly be. Even though people are advancing to broadband and cable connections, there are still quite a few who have less than desirable nternet connections. Additionally, with the emergence of mobile device technologies that don’t necessarily have broadband-like speeds, having slow page load times due to image file sizes can turn users off.
Here a general rule of thumbs for picking the right file format: images that have solid colors are best saved as PNGs and GIFs, while images with continuous colors (such as photographs) are best saved as JPGs.
By limiting the number of images you use to the bare minimum, being smart about using images, and reducing file sizes as best as you can, you will significantly cut down page response times of  a web page and improve your web page performance.
2. Keep it Clean and Simple
A good web design is not just one that looks visually appealing, but also one that is user-friendly. A clean and simple web design typically ends up being a high-usability web design that is not confusing to interact with.
By having too many site features and components on a page, you risk the chance of distracting website viewers from the purpose of the website. Make sure each page element has a purpose and ask your web designer the following questions:
  • Does the design really need this?
  • What does this element do and how does it help the user?
  • If I remove this element all of a sudden, will most people want it back?
  • How does this element tie into the goalmessage, and purpose of the site?
It may be super awesome to come up with a new concept or interface design pattern for your website, make sure that the design is still accessible and intuitive to your users. People are accustomed to common interaction patterns, site features, and web interfaces – and if your design is truly unique, make sure it’s not too obscure and puzzling. Be creative, but also keep it simple.
3. Navigation is the Most Important Thing In Design
The most essential site feature is the website’s navigation — without it, users are stuck whatever page they happen to land on. With that obvious fact out of the way, we’ll talk about some important points to consider when constructing a navigation scheme.
First, it’s very important to put enough time and a lot of planning on a site’s navigation structure. This is common sense, but it’s still surprising how many web designs take site navigation for granted.
Placement, style, technology (will it use JavaScript or just CSS?), usability, and web accessibility are just some of the things you need to consider when creating the navigation design.
Your navigation design should work without CSS because of text-based browsers. 
Navigation should be accessible and usable without the need for client-side technologies such as JavaScript or Flash, which users may not have enabled or installed for various reasons such as security or company policy.
It is imperative that you have a good navigation system in place that is located at a highly-visible location. A good navigation is detectable as soon as the web page loads without having to scroll down the web page. This is where keeping it clean and simple plays a major role: a complex and unconventional design can lead to user confusion.
Users must never wonder, even for a split second, “Where is the site navigation?”
For sites organized in a hierarchical, multi-level manner, make sure that it is easy to navigate from between parent and child web pages. In addition, it should be easy to reach top-level pages (such as the site’s front page) from any webpage.
The main goal of your site navigation is to allow users to get to their desired content with as few actions and with as little effort on their behalf as possible.
4. Use Fonts Wisely and Methodically
Though there are thousands of fonts out there, you can really only use a handful (at least until CSS3 is fully supported by major browsers). Make it a point to stick to web-safe fonts. If you don’t like web-safe fonts, consider a progressively-enhanced web design that leverages sIFR or Cufon.
Keep font usage consistent. Make sure that headings are visually-different from paragraph text. Use white space, tweak line-height, font-size, and letter-spacing properties to make content pleasant to read and effortlessly scannable.
Perhaps one of the things that web designers often get wrong is font-sizes. Because we want to fit as much text as we can in a web page, we sometimes set font sizes to uncomfortably small sizes. Try to keep font sizes at and above 12px if possible, especially for paragraph text. While many people face no difficulty reading small text sizes, think about older users and persons with low-vision and other types of vision impairment.
5. Understand Color Accessibility
After talking about fonts, we also need to point out the importance of using the right colors.
You  need to consider color contrast of background and foreground colors for readability and for users with low-vision. For instance, black text on white background has a high-contrast, while orange text on red background will make you strain your eyes.
6. They Need to Know How to Write Code Themselves
With various WYSIWYG editors flooding the market, it has become as simple as 1-2-3 to design a site. However, most of these editors insert unnecessarily code junk, making your HTML structure poorly designed, harder to maintain and update, and causing your file sizes to bloat.
By writing the code, you come out with clean, crisp, and terse code that’s a pleasure to read and maintain; code that you can be proud to call your own.
Knowing how to use a WYSIWYG or an IDE with a visual preview does not excuse you from learning HTML and CSS. You have to know what’s going on in order to create effective, semantic, and highly-optimized web designs.
7. Don’t Forget Search Engine Optimization
A good web designer should always remember to keep the basics of SEO in mind when designing a site. For example, structuring web content so that important text are represented as headings (i.e. page title and logo). This is where learning how to code properly comes in handy. Knowing correct, semantic, and standards-based HTML/CSS – you will quickly realize that divs are better than tables for web layouts not only for accurate representation of site content, but also for search engine rankings; you will also know that CSS background text image replacement is a good idea.
8. Understand that People are Impatient
People on an average spend only a few seconds before deciding whether they want to read more or navigate away to another site. Therefore, you as a web designer have to device a way for encouraging users to choose the former option within those precious seconds.
Know that not many visitors will scroll down to view the entire contents of the page if what they see at the top does not interest them. Remember to keep your important elements on the top where they are easily visible, but also do not overcrowd the top half of the page which can intimidate users and turn them off from reading further down the page. Consider the top half of a web design a selling point: be a salesman, make people buy into the notion that they want to see what else is on your site.
9. Learn About (and Be Aware of) Browser Quirks
One of the things you must know as a web designer is that your work operates in a finicky and unpredictable environment: web browsers. It’s not enough that your designs work on a few web browsers, they need to work in as many browsing situations as you can possibly afford. Before production – test your prototypes using tools like Browsershots.
10. Make Designs that are Flexible and Maintainable
good web designer makes sure that the site can easily be updated or modified in the future. Designing websites that are malleable and easy to maintain is a sign of a great web designer. Make your work as modular as possible by separating style from structure.
Know that our industry is dynamic and still young – things change in a very short amount of time. Keeping this thought in mind will promote the creation of flexible web designs.

If you want to Grow your business or need help with digital and social media marketing, we’d be more than happy to work with you.

You can contact us here

View our full range of marketing services that are tailored specifically for your business.

Website Design

Search Engine Optimisation

Social Media Marketing 

To see samples of our work visit our Projects page here.

2 Sons Marketing

Phone: +61 2 9822 9554

Email: info@2sonsmarketing.com

Sydney, NSW, Australia

 

Website Design and Social Media Marketing Bossley Park, Wetherill Park, Liverpool, Parramatta, Western Sydney, Mascot, NSW

How website design has changed

How website design has changed

Here are some of the biggest changes in the features and functionality of a website over the last five years.

Out with the old, in with the new!

From 3d to flat websites.  

One of the biggest and most obvious recent changes has been an aesthetic one – the move from 3d designs to flat ones. 

A good way to demonstrate this is by reviewing the old google logo, which included subtle highlights and shading to create a raised 3d effect. this moved to a ‘flat’ design, with zero shading or highlights. more recently, the logo has been updated again to an even more pared back, minimalistic look. 

This trend has become popular across general website design thanks to its clean and fresh appearance. 

Video inclusion. 

Another major change recently has been video content on websites. 

Visit almost any home page of a modern and digitally adept brand in Australia right now, and there’s a good chance that video is in use in some way. 

This could be as a rolling background for added engagement and beautiful imagery, or it could be a homepage video explaining the products or services of the brand. As modern users typically have fairly short attention spans, video can be a good way to capture their attention and share your brand at the same time. 

Mobile optimisation for websites.

In late 2016, mobile officially surpassed desktop for browsing use. This means ensuring websites are optimised for mobile browsing has shifted from being the gold standard, to the norm. 

Websites are now built with mobile in mind, for all types of phones, as well as tablets. In terms of design, this means less text, more banners, more icons, and plenty of slides and scrolling for easier navigation. 

Social media inclusion.

In 2014, Social Media News reported that there were 13.4 million monthly active users on Facebook in Australia, and by January of 2019, that figure grew to 15 million. Similarly, the number of Australians using Youtube jumped from 13 million to 15 million in that time. 

Modern websites are using this social boom to make logins much more convenient for the customer – allowing log in with your social media credentials, meaning you can access members-only areas in a website without having to sign up with an email address.

You can also easily share videos and articles from a website straight to a Facebook page, or Twitter. Plus, it’s also common to see embeds from social media in online content in the form of videos, images, tweets, and more. 

It’s a good idea to add these share buttons as standard on your website pages and blogs so your audience can easily share your brand. Each platform makes this easy with code configurators. You will need the url of what you want to make shareable, and you will copy this into the tools on FacebookTwitter, or other apps, then copy the resulting code into your website builder where you want it to appear. 

or – simply ask your website developer to set these up for you! 

Greater security measures.

As well as protecting their customers online, businesses have had to take steps to protect themselves. 

One such measure is that of reCAPTCHA. As a business owner, this free google tool can help you to detect and stop automated software (bots) from engaging with your site. This essentially works by asking genuine users to check a single box, which allows them to browse easily in seconds, but this stops a bot from accessing your site, filling in forms, and sending you spam that you then have to filter through. 

Web design in 2020 and beyond.

If you think your website could do with an upgrade, or even a total overhaul, our web design service can help. From design, to functionality, to seo best practice, our expert team can create a website that delivers the experience customers expect today. 

Increase your online visibility, reach and engagement with2 Sons Marketing.
Want to get more reviews for your business online, while also getting found by more customers? It’s time speak with about your website, search engine optimisation or social media marketing. You can contact us here

View our full range or services that are tailored specifically for your business.

Website Design

Search Engine Optimisation

Social Media Marketing 

To see samples of our work visit our Projects page here.