In recent years, sales made in brick-and-mortar outlets have been more or less neck and neck with those made online, with one of the other winning out in terms of growth in specific years. What we can take from this is that both forms of retail offer unique advantages to the customer, which is precisely why brick and mortar stores have survived at all into the era of ecommerce.
However, what we cannot take from this is that there is any major form of business that the internet has not affected. Remember, the majority of large retail outlets have an online dimension, whether they make the most of their saes online or not. Furthermore, there are far more brick-and-mortar stores with online stores than the other way around.
It is simply the case then that getting to grips with business in 2023 is, inevitably, to get to grips with the online aspect too. At the very least, it means engaging in online marketing, reaching customers in online spaces, and designing an appropriate website. This is precisely how the ecommerce revolution has made web design such a vitally important service – new online stores suddenly required top performing websites, but so too did all the old stores.
Web design is closely tied to the fortunes of a company, which is why so many companies pay highly skilled professionals to do the design for them. With so many companies taking this route, web design – or the quality of web design services – has reached a level of professionalism never seen before.
This is all great news if you are no expert yourself and hope to avail your website of top design. Nevertheless, it has made the whole enterprise more challenging in at least one way. With such web design services available, and with business being just as business has always been (highly competitive), certain things have come to be expected from companies where web design is concerned. Failing to meet these standards then is a sure way to make your whole company look amateurish and unreliable. It is also difficult to stand out when firstly every company has a website, and secondly professional web design services are readily available.
This is how it must go though. You need to meet the standards, but to stand out you need to surpass them. Nobody said it was easy.
Should I Hire a Professional?
That is a good question. If your company is of a certain size, it isn’t so much that you should, but rather you probably already have (or your business simply wouldn’t have gotten where it is). There undoubtedly comes a point in a company’s growth (usually pretty early on) when getting the website right becomes a necessity. In this case it might then be better to talk about when that point comes along.
Although nearly every company has a website today, it isn’t true that every single business type needs one to the exact same extent. For example, if your business is an ecommerce site, then of course the website is going to be more important than if your business is, say, a car garage in a physical location.
Furthermore, certain business types rely on an impression of expertise in the field of IT or computing. For example, a company that specializes in anti-virus software rather needs to give the impression that they are familiar with all things related to computers! A poorly designed website for such a company is a no-go right from the start.
Netgear, one company in the IT sphere, say that such a website should reflect web expertise by being highly detailed and offering lots of sleek features. Another duty of such companies is the ability to take a complex topic and explain it to consumers. After all, decidedly non-expert customers need to know what it is your company actually does.
So, all websites are important – though some are decidedly more important than others. Consideration of how much your business relies upon the website will let you know how much of an investment priority a professional web design service is for you. As mentioned though, it should be sooner rather than later. This timing question is another part of what is expected from web design in 2023.
The Most Important Elements of Modern Web Design
There are some things that have been forever true of good website design; there are others that are very much a product of the modern emphasis on it. Some further elements are very much directed by transient fashions, the type of things that are “in” right now.
Whether your website needs to be fashionable in this way or can rely on being just elegant and wieldy depends on what type of business you have. Additionally, it is worth bearing in mind that there is always room for personal innovation. This, however, is up to you.
This is one of the elements that depend a great deal on what type of website you have, but there are elements of a good visual design too. As far as colour is concerned in design, it is clear that there should not be too many of them – something that adds to a sense of clutter. Clutter is never good a look.
Keep web pages clear then and without too much on them. Stick to block colour backgrounds and ensure that the most essential information on each page is clearly visible. This is all pretty basic advice that has been around for a long time. To that end, you don’t need to worry about the taste for simplicity going out of the window any time soon.
Unlike visual design – though in some way a part of it – there are the additional features and content you add to the website. These are very much related to the latest aesthetic fashions. For example, the popularity of viral videos shot on portrait-orientated smartphone cameras are now the most popular form of video on the web.
This has given rise to phenomena such as YouTube shorts and Instagram stories. Embedding such videos on your site is a good idea – some professional videos are even now deliberately shot in this way.
You can also include things such as audio players for podcast-like material and, of course, blogs. The latter is more longstanding – there are now more ecommerce websites with blogs than without.
What is expected from the structure of a website? It should certainly be easy to use and wieldy, but how do you actually go about realizing this? One tip is to ensure that no page is more than three clicks away from the homepage.
Simplicity is also an option here. It is, in fact, very fashionable today to present products and services on websites that are remarkably simple in nature, having no additional content and simply showing the brand and the option to purchase on the landing page. Such websites funnel visitors towards sales pretty effectively (as there is nothing else to do on the site). These types of websites are certainly becoming more common.
Integration With Other Sites
But what of other sites? Most often this means social media sites and alternative sites where visitors can buy the products. You should aim for some aesthetic consistency in your brand and aesthetics across these online locations. Get that right and customers will know they are dealing with you, wherever they happen to find you.
All of this is what makes for a great website in 2023, but hard and fast advice is difficult to give. As mentioned, it relies a great deal on your company, customer base, budget and, of course, your own personal taste and innovation. Toe the line first, then get round to standing out.