As there are well over 1 billion websites in the world, you definitely need to give plenty of thought to how to make yours stand out. However, that’s not always easy to achieve, so how can you find the best web design inspiration?
Study your audience
The first step in designing and building websites is always to consider your target audience. Get as much information as possible on their preferences, buying behaviours and motivations. It’s the sort of business intelligence that helps you to decide the fundamentals of your whole brand, as well as being a starting point for creating or updating your website.
You will see this referred to as ‘customer-centric web design’. That simply means making sure each page matches your target audience’s expectations and tastes. If you get that right, visitors to your pages get a strong user experience (UX). They find what they want and need, and transition seamlessly to your action page (buy, register, enquire and so on).
In essence, then, finding out what your customers are looking for is the ultimate in web design inspiration.
Encapsulate your brand
The second most important source of insights and ideas for web design is your own brand identity and statements.
It’s worth a quick reminder here, about ‘what does brand mean?’ This is not just about your logo (which should reflect the much wider brand concept you have adopted). Your brand is everything that is unique about what you are selling, especially the benefits that your customers will experience.
Branding should package up the visual references you are going to use to promote and position your product and service, including colours, fonts and yes, that logo! Branding also means developing keywords and other statements that sum up what you are selling in a compelling way.
Naturally then, your brand must form the basis of your web design.
No matter how confident you are in your own brand and customer analysis, it’s helpful to check out your rivals, preferably using analytics to assess how well their website is performing, rather than simply your own visual appraisal.
If the business intelligence you gather suggests that certain aspects of a competitor’s digital marketing are working well, remember to adapt it in a way that makes it fresh and unique to you. However, there is no reason not to find inspiration for web design by evaluating the successes of similar sites to your own.
Current trends and web design inspiration
The above point – using ‘the best from the rest’ and making it your own – is about balance. Yes, get good ideas from other sites, but don’t go too far in copying content, themes or even whole pages.
The same need for balance is involved in finding inspiration for web creation by looking at general design trends. Following the crowd blindly is not good, but using what is currently working well makes sense.
What is currently trending in the world of digital design?
A lot of design work has a retro or nostalgic vibe these days. Stripping things back to basic and keeping everything ‘clean’ and in focus is finding resonance too, after the complications and challenges of the last couple of years.
Storytelling and showing the ‘human’ face of an organisation are still strong digital marketing trends that underpin how websites are designed.
What is definitely here to stay is inclusivity and accessibility. You must take tangible steps to ensure that your website can engage all types of audiences when developing your theme and page layouts.
SEO, UX and performance values
No article about web design inspiration would be complete without reference to the mechanics of creating a site that performs well. This is where you pass from concepts that are attractive, engaging and persuasive, to building in the essential functions and features.
For instance, ensure your page designs use all the latest SEO techniques to build their search-ability. Also, is the whole site responsive to different devices and browsers, quick to load and easy to navigate? Creating the right user experience (UX) is vital to lead conversion, so it must underpin the way you design your website.
Web design inspiration and updates
If you cover all the above, don’t think you can sit back and feel smug that you have the perfect web design. Websites that perform well and look amazing are a journey, not a destination.
For example, your customer behaviours and preferences will shift, and content must be updated regularly in tandem with good practice for SEO or UX.
In effect, if you properly measure and assess your website regularly, it will provide you with continuous web design inspiration and improvement ideas.
Here at Fifteen, we’ll help you from start to finish when it comes to designing your website. From analysing your data to launching your website, we’re here every step of the way to help you achieve only the best results. Contact us to speak to one of our web design specialists to see how we can take your business forward with our web design services.