Ecommerce Spot

Client Focussed Website Design

How to Design Your Website with Clients in Mind

How to Design Your Website with Clients in Mind

There are few things more important to the creation of a website than making it user-friendly for your clients. Of course you want to create an aesthetically pleasing web space that will speak to your demographic, reinforce your brand image, and possibly even win accolades (what else would you expect if you shell out for an award-winning graphic designer?). But if your clients can't figure out how to navigate through your site, find the products and services they're looking for, get questions answered, and ultimately, hire you or purchase your wares, then it doesn't matter how great your website looks. In short, you need to embrace the design mantra "form follows function" in order to ensure that those who visit your website can actually become your customers. Here are just a few ways to make your website effective.

1. Avoid clutter. There's nothing worse than visiting a website that appears promising only to discover an appalling clutter of text, graphics, and buttons that you can barely wade through, much less find what you're looking for. Keep it simple if you want to appeal to a viewer's sense of balance and order. Pare down the text to make it digestible, limit graphics to just a couple of well-picked pix per page, and don't have any more buttons or links than are absolutely necessary. Also, keep pop ups and other ads to a minimum (or forego them altogether for an experience that clients will find a lot less annoying).

2. Make navigation obvious. Your buttons don't have to be visible from outer space, but they should be large enough to be noticeable and placed so that visitors can easily navigate to the area they're interested in (whether it's your blog, an "about" page, or your online store). By making sure that anyone who visits your page can easily find their way around, you have a much better chance of making a sale.

3. Check links frequently. How do you think you would feel if you found an item you liked for sale on a website only to click the "buy" button and find the link broken? Certainly it seems like a minor frustration in the grand scheme of things, but how likely would you be to follow through on your purchase by calling a contact number? And be honest: what are the odds you'd ever come back to the site? Now you know how your clients feel when one of your links breaks, so make every effort to check them frequently and update accordingly.

4. Provide appropriate tools. The obvious tools of the trade for any business include a way to connect with customers, a forum for them to view your goods or services, and of course, a way for them to make purchases. Equally important, however, are tools that allow them to ask questions, make comments, learn more about your products, receive updates, and so on. If you're not providing the tools your clients require to do business with you, then you could be shooting yourself in the foot.

5. Ask for feedback. The best way to give your clients everything they want or need from your website is to go straight to the source and ask. So provide a forum for customers to make suggestions (and then try to implement them).

Sarah Danielson is a writer for SeaReach an asset protection company and manufacturer of asset marking and security printing solutions.

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