In an era when it is relatively easy for a non-technical person with little or no coding skills to create a functioning website, many people will say that your web design is irrelevant as long as your your website works, i.e. if it displays information and performs a number of basic functions, then that is sufficient. However, if you follow this route you may be selling you or your business short. Design still matters, more than you might think.
Firstly, If you are running a business and your website is not responsive you have a problem. Because your website is not responsive, it cannot adapt to resize on smartphones and tablets. This means you are losing a high proportion of your prospective clients. In recent years there has been a major change in how users interact with the web. If you run a large company and sell products or services online, an app is a feasible option. If you run a small or medium-sized business, or if your website is used primarily to advertise your products or services, you will need your website to be available to potential customers and clients in way that works on all platforms, i.e. on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. By using a responsive framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation, it is possible to achieve this. If you don’t have a responsive site, it will still work on desktop, but will be almost impossible to use by users of mobile devices.
Secondly, branding, the use of logos etc., should be consistent across all mediums. So, if you have a logo and colours that are used on your stationery, business cards, on vehicle signage etc., this branding should be continued when you create your website. This will deliver a consistent, professional approach and will help you stand out from your competitors. The colours you choose to represent your business should be chosen carefully and then applied consistently.
Thirdly, your site should be as simple to use as possible. This can achieved in large part by the way your website’s navigation is structured. For small and medium-sized businesses, it should be possible to create a web design with simple and intuitive navigation.
Finally, when your site is online, when it looks good and functions well, make sure it is “finished” well i.e. ensure that any small design problems have been rectified. If a lot of time has been spent on creating an online presence for your firm, it is essential that it is free from flaws and fully represents your level of professionalism.