A professional web designer will give your website a sleek, balanced aesthetic that will make it look like you put money into making your website look professional (which, in this case, you would have). However, just because you are paying to have a web designer design your website does not automatically mean that your website will be of high quality.
One of the biggest problems with hiring a web designer is that they often value form over function.
The Importance of Function
A flashy website does not necessarily translate into a successful one. This is something that is lost on a lot of businesses that mistakenly think that if they throw money at it, then it must be of high quality. The thing is, function is always going to be more important than form. Think about it this way – you would rather have a house that is structurally sound with a floor plan that suits your needs than a house that looks beautiful on the outside but is built on a weak foundation using a floor plan that makes no sense, such as having the kitchen in the basement.
How to Create a Functional
Website Think about your visitors. How easy is it for them to navigate through your entire website? If they know what they are looking for, can they find it within one or two clicks? Additionally, you should know who your target audience is and why you even have a website in the first place. If you know who your audience is, then you’ll have a better idea of why it is they are visiting your website, which will allow you to emphasize the parts of your site that they are most likely looking for.
Why you have a website is important as well. Without a clear goal, your website design could end up all over the place. If your goal is to capture more leads, then you should have clear calls-to-action that lead visitors to your landing pages as well as opt-in forms on every page.
Testing Your Website
Even if you think that you’ve created a website that perfectly balances function and form, don’t be fooled into thinking that this balance will result in a website that is 100 percent effective for the remainder of your company’s lifespan. You need to regularly test the performance of your site in order to judge whether your design is actually as functional as it can be for your visitors.
How do you do this? There are several ways – you should keep track of website performance metrics provided by analytics tools, such as page views, click-through rates, bounce rates, dwell time and conversion rates in order to get a good idea of how your website design might be affecting your its performance. Regular A/B testing is also recommended in order to determine the best possible design choices.
The aesthetic of your website is important, but it shouldn’t come at the price of your website’s function. Always make function your first priority, and test your website regularly to ensure that your website design remains optimal.