Small business website design and balancing wants vs needs

Rule #1: Don’t design for all website users.

The art of creating a website for small business is not so much about “doing what everyone else does” or “making things pretty” and more about designing a website which achieves the individual business goals. The first part of small business website design is to separate wants and needs.

How to identify your needs from your wants?

It’s simple:

Wants – The things that will make the website successful

Needs – All the fun things that can be done with a website

Make your main point sing

Think of your small business and the one thing that you do really well. Generally speaking, many small businesses are launched for the purpose of offering one unique service or product – or range of products – which differentiates you from your competition. That same mentality should carry over to your small business website. Adobe recommends that they main meta-goal of any small business website is to do “just one thing right”. In the start-up world they call this concept: Minimum Viable Product; this provides the end user with something that offers just enough to satisfy their main desires, and nothing more.

Always design for the end user

More often than not, small businesses create a website that they would use, rather than what their customers would use. If by this stage, you have not identified who the end user of your small business website, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish with the website?
  2. Who needs to visit the website to accomplish these goals?
  3. What motivated them to come to the website and what do they care about?
  4. How much prior knowledge do they have about my business and mission?
  5. Is there any defining demographic information?
  6. What will they see as the reason for visiting my website?
  7. What are their expectations of my website?

By answering these questions you will have a clear understanding what your customers want before they do, in order to guide them towards an end goal.

Matching design with demographics

It’s easy to find a WordPress theme and design a website based off the built in colours, typography and interface, but while it may “look nice”, does it truly match the expectations of your target audience? Let’s look at a few design elements you need to consider for your target audience.

  • Colour scheme: Colour plays a vital role in good website design. It has the power to evoke particular emotions and influences how your target audience interacts with your brand. Things like age group, location, cultural background, and religious and political views will all play a part in identifying your colour scheme.
  • Logo: Your logo is a big part of your business communication and corporate identity. A great logo is unique, meaningful, reproducible, and should be designed to reflect the values and purpose of your business.
  • Typography: There is an art and technique to arrange type, and is much more than simply making words legible. The font you use should be in tune with the audience and their sense of comfort. For example, older audiences generally prefer large and traditional fonts, while young professionals respond to contemporary fonts.
  • Images and interface elements: Rather than creating an image-rich website, consider the type of images – photography, illustration, diagrams – your audience will be excited by.

Don’t forget

17% of small business websites are not mobile friendly. We now live in a mobile first world, where the first experience a user has with your business is through a mobile or tablet device, so make sure you don’t design exclusively for desktop.

Are you looking to create a truly responsive website design that helps your users reach their end goal? Our team of Brisbane website designers, developers and digital strategists can help you identify your small business wants and needs to create a meaningful website that converts users into returning customers. Get in contact with iFactory today to discuss your small business website design requirements.

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