This week we asked one of Worldprofit.com's senior designers, Cris Anderson, to comment on some of key elements of effective design. Here is interview in it's entirety.
Q: Why should a business hire a professional designer and marketer?
A: A professional designer and marketer will be able to evaluate your needs and give you a site that is effective. Here are a few things that we consider that an amateur will not.
It is crucial that you have a complimentary layout to content of your site. There is no point in having a long extended full screen web page when you only have one image and a single paragraph of copy.
The appropriate images must be used and placement is a main factor. Using improper images can actually confuse visitors and that is last thing that we want to do.
The file sizes must be minimized. If it takes too long for your pages to load, then people will leave.
Marketing is of utmost importance. An effective marketer will know how to keep people at your site and help you make sales. We look at sites and think they are properly designed, but when they are compared to ones that have been created by a professional, we realize that they have not considered all of factors above. Don't take chances with your company's reputation. Get a professional designer and marketer to work with you and create that effective site that you need.
Q: What should businesses look for in hiring a web site designer?
A: Look at their portfolio. When you see quality from a designer, then quality is what you will get. Often I see design companies that have portfolios that look like they just started last week. You do not have to like colors or even layout, but consider if site is effective. If I complete a dog grooming site, then look at site and ask yourself, "Is this site effective? What are benefits for me? What do I get? Why should I stick around?" If you go to a site that you wouldn't even want to stay at, then why would you want that same designer to make a site for you?
Q: Cris, tell me what you think is biggest mistake people make in their web sites?
Q: What factors do you consider when it comes to use of color in a site?
A: As a professional designer for many years, it is my job to know --ins and outs-- of color. I do not choose color based on, "Red is pretty." In certain cultures, color can represent very negative connotations then in other cultures. You must determine who majority of your audience is. Also, there are many color studies that play a part in choosing color. Did you know that when subjects were placed in different rooms painted with certain colors, that yellow made people visibly agitated within minutes! Color is taken very seriously and chosen to compliment theme and product of a site. If I do a site for a hiking company, then I will undoubtedly use earth tones, whereas a cruise site will get "sunny and warm" colors. I think most of us can agree that grays are not a good choice for a cruise site!