Web design and marketing news Wysi Berkshire

Keeping small businesses up to date on business online, including web design, web development, web marketing, digital marketing, SEO, and much more

The Importance of Branding in Design

Robert Wakefield - Monday, May 19, 2014

The Importance of Branding in Design. Establishing a clear and crisp identity is sometimes a challenge by businesses. Typically, you have under 30 seconds to attract your reader (via the web). Keeping your visitors engaged, delivering a strong brand identity and talking to them in right language are all essential elements if you are to win business. In this post we look at some of the things you can do to improve your branding.

Brands are all about identity, so if you have a strong and recognisable brand, then this needs to follow through in the design of your website. Branding is a critical part of your marketing strategy as part of a clear message about who you are and what you do, so if your website isn’t properly representing your brand, then you need to think about a redesign.

Creating a brand is about creating trust in your company, so for a website to support your brand message, then consistency is an important element in the design. Typography, colours, logo, style and visual images should remain consistent throughout your site, as repetition supports your identity and image. No matter how attractive an image or style, if it doesn’t fit, then it shouldn’t be used in your web design. However, it’s also important to bear in mind that beyond the visual representation of your brand, you also need to create emotional resonance. So it’s also important to look beyond the typography, colours and styling to the overall atmosphere, in other words, for how the website makes your visitor ‘feel.’ Ultimately, a coherent and consistent site that has a strong identity will create the types of emotions that make visitors want to buy into you.

At Wysi, we understand the importance of working with your brand. But if you’re struggling with image and identity, then our dedicated designers can create identities from scratch for use both on and offline.

Branding and the importance of continuity

Luke Wakefield - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

This blog post focuses on the importance of branding and ensuring it's kept consistent throughout your marketing material both online and offline.

Branding is an important factor in determining your place in the market so it's important to get it right.

Branding is essential for bringing across a strong identity for your company. It should aim to convey clear ideas about the company and strong messages about what it stands for. Anything from business cards to websites should hold firm on the branding and build perception of the company.

But what sometimes falls along the wayside in branding is the importance of branding continuity. Establishing a firm foundation for the brand is a key step which should be taken at the very beginning of any branding exercise.

From the ground up

Everyone who is involved in the branding process should be aware of the brand foundations. The foundation will work as a series of filters that ensures that a company’s materials will always meet the requirements of the brand and convey a consistent idea about the company.

When a business starts looking at a rebrand or a ‘freshening-up’ of existing branding, they should start with the very core reason that the company was established and work from there. Looking at the mission, values and vision of the company can really help in coming up with a brand that strongly reflects exactly the right tone.

Once a brand foundation has been firmly established, the company can start building on it and developing new materials. They might start with a new business card or brochure to work through any teething problems that the new style might have.

Then they can move on to larger projects such as the corporate website, making sure that it makes consistent use of the new colours and logos.

Staying on track

With a foundation in place, the consistency of the brand is far more likely to hold up over time. If everyone involved in the production of materials is made aware of the foundations through a house ‘style sheet’, some really beautiful materials can start being produced. And all of these materials will reflect the new style of the company with complete consistency.

Having a keen eye on continuity can boost your brand awareness and give you a better ROI in your branding. The efficiency of your branding will be heightened and you will reap the rewards through heightened awareness in your market.

So, if you haven’t looked at coordinating your marketing materials so that they’re in perfect unity, make sure it rockets to the very top of that pesky ‘to do’ list. And if you need any help, we'd love to get involved.

Designing a successful ecommerce site.

Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Thursday, July 26, 2012

Here is a list of what we believe are essential tips for designing ecommerce websites, that will help you design a site that is user friendly and high on conversion.

Provide the best user experience

Structure your website for the best user experience. Remember that your website isn’t an information website, users are going to be searching for goods and you are hoping that your ecommerce website is going to convert.


Here is a list of what we believe are essential tips for designing ecommerce websites, that will help you design a site that is user friendly and high on conversion.

Provide the best user experience

Structure your website for the best user experience. Remember that your website isn’t an information website, users are going to be searching for goods and you are hoping that your ecommerce website is going to convert. This can all start with initial user experience.

Simple Navigation

Keep your navigation simple so that users can easily browse products by categories, brands etc. make it easy for them to find the product they want, rather than hard.

Search Bar

Always design your ecommerce website to include a search bar, a user should be able to find the search bar easily so that they can search for products based on their names or product IDs.

Branding

Have a well designed banner/header for your website that clearly states your trading name. You can use your logo and use this as an opportunity to display what your ecommerce store is all about.

Promotional offers

Make sure to put your promotional offers on your homepage, by displaying products on sale or promotional offers. Your homepage can make a visitor want to look more. Everyone enjoys saving money so use this as a way to entice them into browsing your website more.

Products page

Take time making the perfect product page. This is going to be the actual selling point to the customer so it is vital that it looks the part. Make sure you have multiple product images and the relevant information that will make a visitor wants to buy the product.

Visible shopping cart

The user should have visibility of their shopping basket at all times. This will let them see what they have already brought and how much they have spent. With out being able to see this they might order more products or forget certain items and become frustrated with your website.

Promote other products

Design your product page so that you can promote other products that the customer might be interested in, this is a great way to grab extra sales through very relevant products.

For more information on ecommerce why not contact Wysi today!

10 Essential Principles for Good Web Design

Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Applying the essential principles of good web design discussed below can help improve the performance of your website achieve its objectives.

Essential principles of good web design are important to turn your website into a powerful marketing tool. There is more to good web design than well-crafted content and an attractive web design. Factors such as usability, navigation and correct brand representation are equally important...

Applying the essential principles of good web design discussed below can help improve the performance of your website achieve its objectives.

Essential principles of good web design are important to turn your website into a powerful marketing tool. There is more to good web design than well-crafted content and an attractive web design. Factors such as usability, navigation and correct brand representation are equally important.

1. Correct use of White Space

White space is a general design term used to describe empty space on a web page. Web designers use white space effectively on websites to reduce clutter and improve readability. Use of white space also allows designers to strike a balance between different elements on a web page. In general it is recommended to provide sufficient white space between functional elements on a web page. In addition appropriate line spacing should be provided between text. Line –spacing on websites should be at least 1 and ½ times the font size. Similarly sufficient padding should be included between the text and rest of the elements.

2. Correct positioning of elements

The positioning of elements is important in good web design. A website may consist of many elements such as menu, login box, search field, enquiry form, Newsletter registration box, main body of text, and so on. Website visitors tend to scan the content on a website from left to right starting at the top left and then moving along the page. There are certain areas of the screen that draw more attention than others. In good web design, the positioning of elements should take this into account.

3. The correct visual design

Design is a vast field. Above all it is relative to situation and needs. Web design that is suitable for one company may not be suitable for another. A mock up should be created to start with. A design package like Photoshop is ideal for this. It will be easier to manage changes at this level than when the website has been built.

4. Correct Font

Font or typography is vital to good web design. There are many choices available and the selection should be given due consideration. There are multiple issues to consider. The correct font size, font type or font face, font colour, line spacing and letter spacing are some important issues to consider. Colour and behaviours of links, size and colour of headings, style of bullet points and lists are some other related issues that should also be taken into account.

5. Consistency

Consistency between pages of your website is an important principle in web design. Slight variations in layout or positioning of elements may be necessary to implement e.g. homepage may have a different layout to the rest of the pages. However by and large, the entire website should appear consistent. This is also important for branding. Most websites today use a content management system or a blogging platform, which utilise a template system for displaying content. It is much easier to maintain consistency between pages as the same template can be applied to all pages. Consistency between different elements within the same page is also important e.g. the same font type should be used in all elements of a page.

6. Navigation

No matter how attractive the design of your website is, you are likely to loose customers if they are not able to find their way on your website. There are many ways to improve navigation. Menu should be positioned prominently on the page, above the fold. Top, left or right columns work well. If you have a large website, consider having separate menus relevant to different sections of the website.

In addition to menu, elements like breadcrumb are important as they tell a user where they are currently allowing them to retrace their steps if required. Including a sitemap can also prove to be an important navigational aid for your visitors.

7. Usability

Usability is one of the most important principles in web design. There are many ways to improve the usability of your website. As far as possible each page should be less than two clicks away. Search box should be easily accessible. In order to improve usability, you need to understand the mindset of your target market. You should understand the needs and expectations of users who visit your website. You should then make it as easy as possible for users to get what they want, whether it is buying a product or requesting more information.

8. Structure

The information on your website should be organised into appropriate sections. A well planned information architecture or structure ensures information is easy to find and it is easy to navigate through the website. Many factors need be taken into account when planning the structure of the website. Users do not like to scroll too much so the content on each page should be limited to a few screen sizes at the most. It helps to divide the content into appropriate sections and categories.

Look at Sony’s example below. Although it is a large website, content is divided into few main sections, making it very easy to use.

9. Use of Contrast

Contrast is equally important in good web design. It makes the content more legible. A high degree of contrast should exist between the content and its background. As a general rule if you are using a dark background, then use light colours for your fonts and images. Similarly on light background websites, dark font colours stand out more.

10. Call to action

One of the main purposes of your website is to improve sales or leads. This can be achieved through effective call to action techniques. Good web design takes this into account. Correct positioning of call to action elements in also important. Call to action are elements on a website that encourage users to perform some action. It can be anything from completing an actual sale, making an enquiry or registering for your newsletter.


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