Within milliseconds a visitor to your website will make an instant assumption with regards to your business and brand – so it’s important that they like what they see the minute they land on your site.
Rapidly expanding startup Townske – a social media publishing platform that allows users to curate their own city guides – is all about attractive design. Having already created more than 1300 city guides covering 75 countries, the service allows people to browse anonymously or sign up and keep track of their favourite guides.
Getting the design and functionality right has been key to Townske’s success, and cofounder and CEO Daniel Clark reveals his tips for creating a good-looking business website.
1. Keep it simple
You need clarity, simplicity and white space with stunning imagery, says Clark.
“On Townske, you can see that our interface elements are mainly black and white so as to not clash with the beautiful photography that our users publish. We have a lot of white on the site because it’s fresh and helps the imagery shine.”
Gorgeous images and videos are key to almost any site, as is clearly showing your prices if you have an eCommerce store, says Clark.
If a web page or image isn’t ready yet, don’t show it – never say ‘coming soon’ or ‘under construction’ as it will reek of unprofessionalism.
2. Give people access to info
“You need to know your business and your marketing strategies and how your website is going to support them. What do people need in order to do business with you? Information, samples, quoting? Make them super-easy to attain,” says Clark.
“People need to know how to get what they want in almost no time at all. Ideally, you can identify this before they hit your site and send them there in the first place.
“When you know what you want your site to achieve, build a clear navigation structure and don’t complicate things. Most of the time a page needs to achieve one thing only, with one clear call-to-action.”
3. Boost the user experience
When designing you should remove as much as possible and leave only the essentials, says Clark. Think carefully about how people will use the site, on what device and in what environment – after all, a good user experience can improve your search engine rankings.
“We see a great site experience as one that’s fun, does what you expect it to do and then delivers more value,” says Clark.
“Think about how a person’s use will change as they change devices. We’re not a fan of responsive websites and instead develop for mobile and desktop separately to give the best experience on each device – responsive sites tend to give an average experience on one or the other or both.
“The details are where most of the work is but where most of the experience is created. Doing 95% of your website well will not get you 95% of the results. Getting the details right (the last 5%) will probably take longer than the first 95%, but it’s well worth the effort.”