A website cements your online identity in the virtual world. You can use it as an effective platform to display your products and services, attract customers and improve your credibility on the market.
The scope provided by a website is immense. It is your website’s success, which ultimately determines your online success and converts leads into sales.
The difference between selling on physical stores and online is that you don’t have the luxury of ‘wooing’ your target audience without any limitations on the time, when it comes to the virtual world. Sometimes, you only have seconds to create a first impression on visitors, especially those who are visiting your website for the very first time. In fact, it is said that you have only about 50 milliseconds to make an impression on your users. This is the reason why, you need to need to have an aesthetically appealing website that attracts maximum visitors within 50 milliseconds so that they do not head towards your competitors’ sites.
What Does Aesthetics Mean in Website Design?
Website design is all about solving problems or finding the right solutions. As a designer, your primary concern is to see how efficiently is the information on a website organized and presented to the visitors so that they easily navigate and take subsequent call to action. Every choice that the designer makes, everything that is a part of the website, should conform to aesthetics. The common definition of aesthetics is — an artistically beautiful or pleasing appearance. For a website designer, aesthetics has to do with everything that ensures that it looks like a work of art right at the first glance itself.
However, aesthetics is not to be confused with design trends. While you can always include the best design elements in your website such as a fancy typography, best layout and attention-grabbing color scheme or even make the website responsive, you need to focus on the extra details that go beyond making your website functional. It needs to have an ‘artistic’ touch or you can say a ‘wow factor’, which can immediately pique up the interest of your target audience and help your brand. You must also remember that visitors equate good design with good quality. So, even if you use the simplest of element on your website, make sure that they are flawless. It is the perfection in your design that will earn your brand accolades and help you make quick sales.
Design is an important aspect of branding because it makes an instant connection between your business and your customers. It also establishes brand credibility and enhances the overall image of your company. A study by Stanford University reports findings, which support aesthetics and how it affects the credibility of a website. The study had 2500+ participants and nearly half the consumers (46.1%) assessed the credibility of websites. The assessment was partially based on how appealing was the overall visual design of a website is, including its layout, typography, font size and color palette. In a nutshell, the study highlights that there is a clear link between design and site credibility.
Aesthetics bridges the gap between the form and the functionality of your brand and helps enhance its credibility. It is a part and parcel of the marketing process.
Why is Aesthetics in Marketing a Necessary Nowadays?
‘Aesthetics in marketing’ is a broad term. It refers to promoting the best experiences to contribute to a brand’s organization or the brand’s identity. When we talk about a website as the marketing material, aesthetics plays an important role in influencing consumer’s perception and subsequently, their purchase decision.
Due to the fact that branding relies on the perception of your visitors; you need to figure out ways through which you can easily make a mark on their mind. Since there are numerous websites out there, ensure that your website offers visitors something unique. How your website looks to the visitors is the main factor that helps them distinguish between your brand and that of your competitor. This gives you the reason to work on an aesthetically appealing website. It can very well work as the packaging of your products and services in the virtual world. One of the best examples in this direction is that of Apple Inc.
Apple Inc., Hands Down the Best Example of Why Aesthetics Matter
Since we are linking technology with aesthetics anyway, why not take a look at the best example of a company that has always focused on aesthetics and given the best user experience to its customers? I am talking about Apple Inc. which has always set a benchmark when it comes to the form and factor. It is the epitome of aesthetic design, whether you talk about its products, services or even its website in general, which speaks volumes about why the company is distinctive and what makes it one of the most well-known brands internationally.
Let us also not forget that Apple has always been unconventional in its design. Simple, yet unconventional. This is again what worked in creating the USP of the brand and earned it name and fame. What if Steve Jobs didn’t have the taste for simplicity and aesthetics? Would the brand be able to make the same kind of impact? The answer is a clear no.
However, some businessmen might argue that aesthetics takes a backseat if the website has good usability. It is a myth, which is a part of top UX myths. According to this myth — usability practitioners completely dismiss the importance of aesthetics by citing the examples of unattractive and yet, popular websites like Craigslist. The example is not just limited to Craigslist; there are many other websites, which are not at all aesthetically pleasing and yet, they do help in enhancing the sales.
But then aesthetics do have an important role to play in user experience, which is more or less driven by emotions. You need not even look further for the definite proof. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think of a website that has an aesthetically pleasing design and another that is not so pleasant to look at. Which one of them will generate a positive first impression from you? Which one of the websites will you be more likely to interact and engage with? You got your answer.
Now let us go through some essential tips relevant to aesthetic design, which will help you in improving the look of your website. Take a look at the following pointers to get a better idea.
Color Palette Matters Too, Choose Wisely
There is no doubt about the fact that the choice of colors is immensely essential when it comes to branding. Apart from determining the course of your website’s appearance, colors are crucial elements, which help evoke various emotions from your visitors. However, there are different opinions when it comes to creating brand identity with colors. While some people might quip that your color palette needs to be unconventional and make everyone sit up and notice, others would be in favor of choosing a tried and tested color palette and play it safe to guarantee a boost in the conversion ratios.
Despite these differences of opinions, one thing is for sure — colors do stimulate various emotions and your visitors will tend to consciously or subconsciously associate it with different things. For instance, red is a color which is associated with energy, power and excitement. It is often the first choice when it comes to the brands belonging to the entertainment industry. Even various food and beverage companies opt for red for their branding purposes. It is therefore, a prerequisite to know what various colors mean for the niche of your business and brand and use them on your website when you work on its aesthetic appeal.
Maintain Consistency Across the Entire Website
More often than not, a lot of businesses focus mainly on their website’s homepage but give less importance to the inner pages. This is a huge faux pas, which you need to avoid at any cost. I mean, no one can be sure that your visitor will specifically search for your website by typing the URL of the homepage. They can always click a link to the landing pages or the inner pages. In such cases, a poorly designed inner page or landing page will provide a wrong image or impression about your brand to your visitors.
By poorly designed pages, I mean using the wrong set of fonts, pixelated images, inconsistency in the placement of logos and their design among others. You need to make sure that each and every page on your website is consistent with the best design elements used aesthetically so that it pleases all your visitors. In addition to these, your pages must be readable and easily navigable.
That Page Better Load Fast
Quality is of Utmost Importance
Quality is of utmost importance when it comes to creating an aesthetic website. You have to make sure that each and every element on your webpage is nothing short of perfect. Blurry or poor quality images, distracting animations, frequent pop-ups or typography that seems to blend with the background or prove to be an eyesore are some of the red flags that you need to look out for, as all these adversely affect the quality of your web pages. Everything ultimately boils down to – a well-designed website that is easy to navigate for the visitors.
Test, Test, Than Test Again
Testing your website design is a given. You need to determine whether the design approaches taken by you is ultimately going to be fruitful or not. There are many design testing practices, which you will find immensely useful for this purpose. Test and retest if necessary to be absolutely sure about your website aesthetics.
Yep, There’s a Conclusion
If you are really serious about taking online business and determining its success, then you have no other choice but to work on your website design. There is absolutely no dearth of resources and guidelines, which you can avail for this purpose and put your ideas into action. For instance, you can follow some common web design principles, which will surely boost up your sales.