Sheri Hebbeln
December 15, 2011 | Site Design and Management | Sheri Hebbeln

Design Tips for Your Website

Is your website design beginning to feel dated? It’s always a good idea to step back and look at your site objectively; to make sure you’re on top of the latest trends in design and to ensure that it’s performing optimally.

Here are a few things to consider (be sure to scroll down to the bottom for some examples).

Use of Color
There are a number of resources available if you're interested in learning more about the psychology of color. Your website can invoke different moods depending on how you use the primary colors from your logo relative to any complementary colors you've chosen. For example, have you used a dark or light colored background? Which colors have you chosen for highlights and headers versus body text? When working with a designer, have him or her prepare several variations and then solicit feedback from friends and colleagues.

Remember the old days, when it was popular to use white text on a black background? Computer monitors use light to generate images, so displaying text with too little or too much contrast can strain the eyes. You’ll want to test different combinations of background and font color for readability before you choose a design.

Line Height
This is a very simple, yet effective concept. Adding some additional space between the lines on your pages makes them appear cleaner and your content will be easier to read.

The use of beautiful images is very common in the wine industry, but effective in other industries as well (think apple). It doesn’t take long for a visitor to decide whether or not to spend time on your website. Arriving to see a beautiful image of your tasting room, vineyards, or wines will encourage customers to linger and enjoy.

The Shopping Experience
If your current website structure and navigation is the one you designed several years ago, it’s time to look at it again with the customer experience and ease of use in mind. Make sure customers can easily figure out how to “buy” wine. And that they can get from the home page to the shopping cart with a minimum number of clicks. Today’s web users have been spoiled by easy-to-use eCommerce sites and will quickly leave a website that’s not intuitive.

Designing for Tablet Use
Tablet owners are valuable customers. According to a study by Forrester Research and BizRate, tablet owners spend on average 28% more per order than non-tablet owners. That study also sheds some light on the frustrations the tablet user experiences, with the most common complaints being that the experience is “limited” relative to the desktop experience and that it’s difficult to click on exactly what they want. These are important considerations when redesigning your site.

There’s no better time than a redesign to reevaluate the content on your website. Remember that customers rarely enjoy reading long blocks of text. Use bullets, icons and images and try to be concise with your verbiage. And if writing is not your forte, consider hiring a copywriter. You’d be amazed at the difference good copy will make.

If you’re considering a redesign for the New Year, I’d suggest contacting your Account Manager right after the holidays.

Some Resources:

HubSpot Blog
71 Secret Tips for Website Redesign Projects

Practical eCommerce
The Psychology of Color
Color Psychology Showcase

BizRate Insights
The Emerging Tablet Market: What Online Retailers Need to Know

Here are some examples of customers who've gone through the redesign process recently.  We think they look great!


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