Whether you’re getting ready to create your first website, or are ready for a website redesign, you’re going to face what might seem like a tough question — what do you want it to look like? You know your business needs a website that looks great and represents the style and personality of your business.
But what does that even mean? If you’re working with a website designer for your project, they will handle most of the design and layout details for you. However, your designer is still going to ask you some questions about what you’re hoping for, what website design features you like, and what look and feel you’re going for. Considering these questions before starting on your website redesign will help to ensure your new site turns out to be everything you hoped and dreamed.
Where to Start
If you’re not sure where to even begin, getting design inspiration from other websites is a great place to start! These may be other websites in your industry, but don’t have to be. Take note of any websites you particularly like or don’t like.
It’s especially helpful if you can identify why you like them. You might find that you love the bold colors, the big fullwidth immersive photos, or the fun interactive components. Make notes or bookmark these sites — it will be super helpful later!
As you contemplate your new website and look around at other websites for inspiration, keep an eye out for a few key design features. Considering these website design features will help pinpoint what you want before starting on your website redesign project.
Website Design Features
1. Light vs. Dark Website Design
One design feature to consider is whether you would like a primarily dark or light website. A “light” website primarily uses white or another light color as the background, with dark text. A “dark” website, on the other hand, primarily uses black or another dark color for the background, with light text.
While the site doesn’t need to be all one or the other, it will often lean towards either light or dark. This design decision is part of the overall color scheme of the site and can make a big difference in setting the tone of your brand.
Websites with a light design often have a more minimalist, clean, softer look, and are good for readability on larger amounts of text (like a blog site). Dark websites often create a bolder look that can work well for businesses such as restaurants or fitness and adventure sites.
Example of Light Website Design: ValleyIsleKombucha.com
Example of Dark Website Design: TayloredMeals.com
2. Color Palette
Before getting started on your website redesign, consider if you have a particular color or color palette in mind. If you’re running an established business, you may already have some go-to colors for your brand, such as the colors that are used in your company logo. However, when you’re just starting out, you might be thinking about the colors of your brand for the first time.
Some colors will be better suited for particular industries than others, based on color psychology. For example, green is often associated with health and nature and can work well for businesses in the wellness industry.
Wherever you are in the process, it’s important to stick to a cohesive look for your brand. Try to select just a few colors that can be used to tie together the look of your new website.
3. Photos vs. Illustrations
Do you want your new website to include lots of photos? Or would you prefer a more simple illustrated or icon-based look? These are not mutually exclusive, but it can help inform your designer as to what you’re going for.
You’ll definitely want to include lots of photos if your website is intended to showcase what you do or what you create. High-quality images can make a huge difference in engaging your website visitors and selling your product. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to actually do that photoshoot, now is the time!
If your website is for a more abstract service or you’re going for a more minimalist look, more of a flat design with fewer photos and more illustrations or icons might work well.
Example of a Photo-Based Site: PawsUniversity.com
Example of an Illustration-Based Site: HandsOnMaui.com
Making a note of other websites you like, as well as their primary website design features, is a great way to get started on thinking about how you’d like your new website to look. Keeping this in mind when starting on your project will help ensure that your website turns out just the way you hoped, and accurately portrays the look and personality of your brand.