How to design customer-oriented websites? Return to Articles →
Understanding your customer and his needs is the primary key to creating customer-oriented websites. The main role of a web designer is to create useful and efficient websites, with high levels of communication, however designers fail to fulfill this function simply because they don’t listen to their clients or because they know best. This is a huge mistake when a web designer creates a custom design according to his own taste, which usually contradicts to the taste of the client and doesn’t accomplish the intended purpose of the website.
It is clear that communication of the content to visitors should be the primary objective of the layout, but very often designers forget about this aspect or sacrifice it believing that aesthetics is the most important factor, influencing visitor’s experience with the website. However, it happens that users have lousy experience because the website they are visiting is image- or sales-oriented and not intended for the customers.
Another reason, why online customers might have troubles with your website, is because the custom design layout follows different modern trends which contradict to its content, or have nothing to do with the topic. The only reason that can justify the usage of popular grunge or retro site design trends is a personal blog, where you can use an original custom design to reflect your style and accentuate identity.
Knowing the needs of your customers is the key to building a long-lasting relationship through your website. Your primary goal, as that of a designer, should be to individualize users’ experience with your website with the help of custom design solutions. But what does it mean «to individualize experience»? This issue mostly deals with buying habits, knowing which you can adjust the site’s design to satisfy your clients more. A good way to understand what your clients would like to see on your website and what thing they value most of all is to ask them directly with the help of a survey.
The majority of your users would speak about the usability of your website and the readability of its content. They want to know as much about your company and its services, as possible plus this information should be well-structured and found intuitively. It’s a good idea to enrich your content with regularly updated specials and news, detailed product catalog, user manuals and recommendations, useful links and personalized information. Another good example if individualization is a lot of good websites that remember the things you recently watched or bought and build your taste based on this data. This way, entering a website you see the list of things you might wanna see, as you do on Youtube or Amazon sites.
Smart custom designs focused on the needs of your customers and providing a satisfying experience tend to make people come back and tell their friends about the site. Such word of mouth advertising is the best way for your website to gain huge number of new customers and retain the old ones creating a lifetime clientele and resulting in long period of permanent revenues.
Being a web designer you should remember about several important aspects that will help you to build a customer-oriented website: usability (implemented in the control users have over the content of your website), performance (to meet customers’ expectations), high quality content and value of the brand.
It’s very essential to try to imagine the whole picture of the project on the pre-development stage and ask yourself, what the custom design you are creating is intended for and what its major functions are. If you don’t focus on the intent, chances are your custom design won’t satisfy the needs of its visitors no matter how well it is illustrated and whatever its level of aesthetics.