As with everything in life, business will have its good and bad times. Everyone experiences ebbs and flows in their workloads – the most important thing is to be prepared for when times are tough. When
These days, web designs created in one country can be viewed by people from countries all over the world, which has created a problem in the way that different colours are viewed by different cultures. To avoid offending your international audiences, it is important that you understand the different messages that these colours send to each culture. As an example, how is orange viewed by other cultures?
- Western (Australia, North America and Europe)
Orange is seen as being representative of the harvest and the autumn months. It is also often associated with warmth (fire) and with citrus fruits (oranges). Some cultures associate the colour with Halloween, whereas others (especially the Netherlands) see it as the colour of royalty.
- Eastern and Asian
Orange is seen as being a sacred colour in many Indian cultures (especially the darker hue of saffron), whereas Japanese cultures see the colour as being symbolic of love and courage.
- South America
Many people in these cultures see orange as being a ‘sunny’ colour. It is also commonly associated with the earth, as many of these countries have similar coloured soil.
- Middle East
In these countries, the colour orange is often associated with ideas of mourning and loss, so can be considered disrespectful in web designs that are promoting happiness.
With all of these different meanings for a single colour, it is easy to see how some cultures may be offended by its use (especially Middle Eastern ones, whose view of orange is very different to other cultures). Think about these meanings when creating an orange and web design, and you will avoid offending people whom you did not even know would see your website.
In web design, you will quite often hear people talk about symmetry being the ideal way to create websites, but there are arguments to suggest that this is not always the case. An asymmetrical design – that is, one containing elements that do not create a mirror image – can be highly attractive and effective in their own right. They, too, can be balanced – just not with perfect halves.
In asymmetrical web design, you can use images to balance out your text – for example, a large chunk of text on one side of the page can be mirrored by a large image on the other. You do need, however, to ensure that both the text and the image complement each other and work together (such as a cupcake on a baking website).
- Foreground and Background
A newer introduction to the world of asymmetrical web design is the idea of using background elements to balance out foreground ones. This creates an interesting background dynamic that doesn’t normally exist (it is much more functional as a part of the content as well as functioning as a backdrop). This is often done with layers, as it creates depth.
As anyone who works in web design will tell you, balance is one of the key fundamentals to coming up with a good website – this is probably why symmetry is often lauded as being the way to go. By using images and the elements of the background and foreground, however, you can create a more asymmetrical design that is both balanced and attractive.
Many people look at the home page of their website and decide that it is the most important section, therefore, will frequently ask for the web design, content and layout to be altered – but is this how you should be spending your money (and using your designer’s valuable time)? Ask yourself a question – how long ago was the content, layout and web design of the other pages of your website updated or maintained? Can’t remember? Looks like you’re giving your home page too much importance.
Instead of looking at your home page as the be all and end all of your website, try looking at it like it’s a hotel lobby – when visitors arrive at your “hotel” they should find that the “lobby” presents the space in a good light (by having an attractive, spacious, elegantly lit and welcoming web design). They should also find that the “lobby” is easy to navigate – they should be able to see where the front desk and where the lifts are, for example.
But, how is a hotel ultimately judged? Generally, on the quality of their guest rooms. It is the same for a website. Visitors will judge the quality of a website based on the content and web design of its ‘rooms’ (other pages). The home page becomes, then, an area that visitors pass through in order to get to where they want to go.
It is for this reason that the time spent updating, enhancing and creating a web design for a home page should reflect this view – visitors will simply pass through, not stay there for a substantial length of time. How much time do you focus on your home page? Do you think that this correlates to the importance the page should be given in your website as a whole?
When it comes to creating an effective and functional web design for your clients, the most important thing to take into account is the target audience that you are creating it for. Follow these steps to help determine who the target audience of your next project is, and ensure that you design appropriately.
The first thing that you must figure out as a part of your web design process is who your target audience is – how old are they, what music do they listen to, what products do they buy, and so on? This will give you a much better idea of who you are designing for.
The second part of determining the target audience for your web design project is to do some research into the kind of people who visit the website. Why not conduct a survey, asking the current visitors of a site what attracted them to it in the first place?
Now that you have a better idea of who the target audience for your design project is, you can start better understanding what it is you are trying to design and who it is for. Think outside the box and ensure that what you’re offering is of benefit to users.
Once you have gathered all of the required information about your target audience, it is time to go back to the web design basics. Incorporate the same theories of design that you would in any website, ensuring that you cater them to the type of design you are currently implementing.
It is always obvious when a web design has been created without the target audience in mind. Think about all the websites that you have ever looked at – how many of them looked like they were aimed at kids but were for an adult service, such as tree pruning? As you can see, the target audience is imperative for a good website.
It has probably happened to most people working in the web design industry – they’ve had a client that has been completely unwilling to pay you enough for the work you are completing and nor do they appreciate it. These are known in the design industry as ‘low quality’ clients. So, how do you attract higher quality clients to your business?
Firstly, you should know what you’re worth. Look at the services that your web design business offers and come to a conclusion about what you would like to be paid for them. If your clients believe that you and your business are truly indispensable, they will be more willing to pay top dollar for your services.
Secondly, do not be at the beck and call of your clients. Whilst it is fine to be flexible when it comes to web design (in fact, you need to be flexible in many respects) this does not mean you need to bend over backwards for clients who are not willing to pay you for it. Make it clear that, if clients want changes to their design, that you are happy to do this but that an additional cost will be involved.
Thirdly, make sure that you are offering web design services that higher quality clients will really want. What options and features interest these people? It is a good idea to invest some time and money in some market research to find out what type of services attract the clients you are after – it could be the difference between you landing a client and losing one.
Most web designers find that, by adopting the above standpoints, the clients their business begins attracting are willing to pay more and will appreciate the services and work you offer.