Understanding Website Design

Good Website Design is an art. “When it comes to websites, take time to get it right the first time.”

Dylan Kohlstädt,

Founder and CEO of Shift ONE


A Website Wireframe is the best place to start

Web design should be simple and straight forward:

Where am I?

Why am I here?

What’s in it for me?

These are some of the questions your visitors ask themselves.

The simplest designs are the most effective, however it usually takes a lot of effort to arrive at a simple solution.

If you don’t put in the time planning and testing your concepts, you will have to pour extra hours into fixing your designs after they’ve gone live.

website design

website design

Website Design and Development

What does ‘Conversion’ mean to you?

The reason I ask this is because I’m always talking about conversion rates when it comes to websites, and it’s amazing how many people ask me what ‘conversion rate’ means.

It’s simple. It means turning visitors to your website into customers – and hopefully – at a higher rate than your competitors.

In order to create a top-converting website, you need to spend a lot of time planning the site before getting the graphic designer to start with the fun stuff like where to put the pretty pictures.

This means first gathering as much data as you can about your customers and then spending time wireframing the site.


Test that wireframe with users, and only once the wireframe passes the user tests every time, should you hand it over for graphic design and eventually web development.

User test at every milestone along the way.

Only then can you be sure that the website is optimised for sales.

It might be tempting to start designing the site as soon as you can, let me assure you that you will spend more time (and a lot more money) ‘fixing it’ once it’s gone live if you leave out one of the steps above, and if your website was designed by a graphic designer or web developer that didn’t first do wireframing and user testing, then you probably aren’t making as many sales from your website as you could be.

website design

Thinking of redesigning your website? Then follow these simple steps below.

  • Clarify Objectives:Understand the goals and objectives of the website. Is it going to be an ‘online brochure’ or a fully functional e-commerce site?
  • Who are your customers: Know who you’re designing for and what their needs are.
  • Wireframe and iterative design: Draw up a skeleton of the site and test it with users, incorporate their comments into your wireframe and keep going until the framework passes without users getting stuck or lost.
  • Design with Google in mind: Make sure you follow the basic principles of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and you’ll be well on your way to ranking in Google – maybe not yet page one, but getting there.

website design

website design

  • Hire the right graphic designer and developer: Try to find people who fit your style of working. If you’re flexible and like to keep making changes, make sure they’ve built some ‘fat’ into their estimates to cover your requests.
  • Test and test again: AB testing and MultiVariate Testing (MVT) are paramount to getting the right end result. You should always have one or two tests running to ensure you have the optimal page design.
  • ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’: Please don’t re-brand or redesign if you don’t have to. Even if you are dead tired of the look and feel. The chances are that your customers still like it. That is, unless it was designed in 1995!
  • Don’t use fancy effects: use flash sparingly and don’t have an ‘entry’ landing page. You lose 20% of customers every time you make them click so keep it simple!

Is your Website Designed  with Customers in mind? Or is it Costing You Business?

Your website could be losing you money. Who designed it? Was it tested with customers? Is the platform, the technology, the design, the flow out of date and slow? Are your users frustrated with your web design because it’s too ‘fancy’?

Web Design and Development is an Art

Your website should not be designed by a graphic designer or a developer.

It needs to be designed by someone who interacts closely with your customers and designs the site based on their needs, and the business’ requirements.

Wireframing, user testing, analytics and Google SEO are all part and parcel of good web design and development.

Website Development > copy and design | development | AB and MVTesting | analytics | testing | e-commerce | SEO | ROI

Website design

Call us today at +27 21 554 2498 or email info@shiftone.co.za

With good web design we can work towards having your business positioned exactly how you want it so that it can flourish.

If you are interested in any of our services, contact us today and set up a meeting.

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