Doing your own website audit Part 1– Aesthetics in Web Design

I was speaking to a client recently and realised that it may be beneficial to my clients if I could give you a guideline of some simple things that you can look out for to see if your website is performing as it should.

I will be starting a series to help explain how you can test your website to see if it is on par with what is expected from a website at present. Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more or if you would like a proper assessment of your website.

Over the next week we will be dealing with the following criteria:

Day 1 – Aesthetics in Web Design

Day 2 – Accessibility

Day 3 – Business Processes

Day 4 – The hidden things count

I may add to these depending on how carried away I get 🙂

Aesthetics in Web Design 

People are quick to make snap judgements about each other and often make up their minds about someone within a split second of meeting them. Websites are no exception and a dated or substandard looking website will do your business or organisation more harm than good.

It is like walking into a grocery store where the floors are not swept and there are grubby marks all over the windows. No matter how good the produce is any normal first time buyer will walk right out.

It is not good enough to just have a website up as it was said in the old days. If you have a website in the very least it should look clean and presentable.

I have often seen clients who are passionate about their businesses and have stunning offices and product packaging, but neglect the one place where many clients will make their first impressions. A cheap or substandard looking website makes your potential clients think that your product or service is substandard.

Although this is by no means comprehensive here are some quick things you can look at – if this is not in place then consider contacting a few places for advice and quotes:

  1. Check your fonts – is the text across the website uniform? Are your headings the same? Some people who do not know what they are doing try to get creative and use different font, colours and types to the nth degree. Instead of being a wow factor it just looks cluttered and illegible.
  2. Images – are your images pixilated? Pixilated images are a bit blurry and often have little dots on them. Low quality images are the first sign that your developer did not know what they were doing and as a result you have been left with something that is harming your brand.
  3. Colours – There are too many colours and they do not necessarily make sense. A good colour combination should be based on the type of product you are selling as well as your logo. A designer worth his or her salt will know this and design accordingly.

These are just some of the criteria you can look out for when looking at the design of any website, but they are a good plumb line to determine common mistakes made by designers. I think the reason this happens is that many clients are just not knowledgeable or perhaps a bit afraid of the internet and end up using people who for their best intentions just don’t have the flare or experience to pull something professional off.

A client goes with the developer and then ends up disappointed being stuck with the website they already paid for and probably won’t get their money back. I feel for these developers but clients end up paying a high price for someone’s schooling – first by getting a sub rate website, and secondly by continued damage to their brand while the website is running.

If you are having concerns about your website’s look and feel then feel free to contact us for a free assessment, we are happy to assist.

PS. BTW there is always the exception to the rule. Some people do ugly on purpose and get huge hits from it. If that is what you want to do then it needs to be part of your marketing campaign.

Martin Hugo

Martin Hugo

Owner at Custom Web

I’m the owner here at Custom Web. My passion is to help companies promote and turn their businesses around using the experience I have gleaned over 12 years in the website industry. Feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

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