For most brands we work with, websites are the audience's first touchpoint with your organization or message. Your website is your first impression, and is the primary digital ambassador for your brand. You don’t want to mess it up, and creating a powerful website is a balancing act that requires full functionality on all parts; design, content, and underlying technology come together to form the cornerstone of your website’s success, and each component relies on the other.
Often likened to a classic three-legged stool, if you will, equally prioritizing high-quality technology, design, and content ensures stability and efficacy in website design. Here are some of the top factors to consider with each leg of this metaphorical stool:
Technology: The backbone of accessibility
Expert development is the engine that powers your website, but its role extends beyond functionality. Accessibility, a cornerstone of effective technology, ensures that your site is usable by everyone, regardless of ability or medium. It's not just about compliance; it's about inclusivity. Integrating features like alt text for images, proper heading structures, and keyboard navigation enhances usability for all individuals, thereby broadening the audience reach and improving user experience overall.
But if “doing the right thing” isn’t a good enough reason for you, keep in mind that search engines favor accessible websites, as they align with their goal of providing users with relevant and usable content. By prioritizing accessibility in website design, you not only enhance user experience but also bolster your site's visibility and ranking on search engine results. So make it accessible, why don’t cha.
Design: Your branded visual language
Design is the face of your website, the first impression that visitors encounter. It’s safe to say we’ve all seen both sides when it comes to balancing good design on a website: some sites are gorgeous but lack any usability or substance, and some have all the information you’d ever need, but look like they came straight out of Internet Explorer in 1996. That’s why this balance (read: aforementioned three-legged stool) is key.
Your web design isn’t all about aesthetics; it's also about user experience and functionality. A well-designed website offers intuitive navigation, clear call-to-action buttons, and a layout that guides users through the content seamlessly and logically. Consistent branding elements, colors, and typography convey your cohesive brand identity, fostering trust and recognition.
Visual elements, like high-quality images and videos, also play a pivotal role in engaging visitors and communicating your brand. However, it’s important to remember that these should complement, rather than overshadow, the site’s development and content. A balanced design incorporates visual appeal while ensuring that the main message remains the focal point. Striking this equilibrium between visual allure and informative content creates a memorable and effective user experience.
Content: Communicating your main message
When we say “content,” we mean more than words. Text, multimedia, and your overall narrative all play a role in communicating the mission of your website and driving visitors toward a specific call to action. Your content has a critical job: to resonate with your audience by not only capturing their attention, but also compelling them to take action. Whether it's informative blog posts, brand-centric descriptions, or engaging storytelling, quality content drives engagement and conversion.
Still, quality web content extends beyond being informative and engaging; it also needs to be optimized for search engines. Implementing sound SEO practices, such as strategic keyword placement, relevant meta descriptions, and high-quality, original content, ensures that your website will rank well in search engine results, driving organic traffic.
In the realm of website design, following the three-legged stool framework — equally prioritizing effective technology, design, and content — is critical for ensuring a positive user experience. As anyone who's sat on a stool lately will attest, you can’t choose just one leg. You can’t even choose two. You’ve gotta have all three. Trust us: Embracing this holistic approach, rather than cutting corners, will foster and strengthen your brand identity and drive impactful results in the digital landscape.