The Bad, the Good, and the WOW Website.
10 Points & Differences
10 Points & Differences
Digital era, digital promotion! Yes but how? Let’s start with the basics, the alphabet or else the foundations of your digital promotion. Is your website bad, good or wow?
It’s almost impossible to think of a business, an organization or a service that doesn’t have a website.
Whether we like it or not, this is the Medium through which we introduce ourselves. How do you introduce yourself in a professional meeting? What cloths are you wearing and in what color? What is your tone of voice? Do you make jokes; are you relaxed or rather reserved?
Your image is something that concerns you. You take into consideration the opinion of others and whether you’ll make a good impression.
Let’s move into the digital world. A world that is equally competitive and demanding.
In a few words, your website is you. Its appearance is your aesthetics. Your words are the texts that make it up. The writing style is your attitude while you’re having a discussion. Your knowledge is its technology. The website visitor is the person standing across you at a professional meeting. You care.
The bad, the good and the WOW
Below we’ll dare to analyze shortly the 10 basic aspects of a Website and how they are related to each of these three ratings.
1. Methodology, design and development process
Bad: There is no procedure. Usually, the content is placed in a ready template, after the question “What sites do you like?” is preceded.
Good: Most of the times there is a procedure, such as audience-related research, competition study, drafts, stages of implementation.
WOW: You are part of the implementation and experience the whole process. Wow means nothing is left to luck. You will be asked a lot of questions. The target audience will be studied, priorities will be set, what’s important and what’s not will be clarified, each choice behind every choice will be justified and there will be a “because” based on methodology.
2. Design: Templates, Custom Layouts, Custom Design
Bad: It’s structured on a ready template, which is not necessarily bad. We’ve seen plenty of cases where a well adjusted template creates a decent result. The problem is when it’s obvious that a template has been used, meaning bad color choice, unbalanced fonts, mixed content in more than one languages.
Good: Balance of all the visual elements. Beautifully combined titles with relevant imagery, structured layouts, where the content gets across clearly. There is consistency among the pages and a coherent visual identity.
WOW: You open the browser, stare for 4-5 seconds and then you go on. In this case it is obvious that the designers have taken care of every pixel, with emphasis on every detail and unique design elements. Information has been structured in a way that each point gives off confidence and certainty. In a few words: I know what I’m doing!
MDesigners 2019 | Design and development for Nova Freight.
3. Text content
Bad: Texts? What are texts? They are speech, communication, substance. If texts are used mainly to fill up the space in between images, this is bad.
Good: A substantial effort has been made and it’s obvious. There is a clear distinction between titles and paragraphs and the position of the texts has been chosen carefully, it’s not random. The writing is comprehensible and the size of the paragraph doesn’t scare the reader away.
WOW: A copywriter steps in and it’s obvious! A professional will give the appropriate style and tone to the texts because a copywriter wants his/her texts to be read – and they will be read. Short titles, which not only make sense but also, draw the attention where they should, right on target. Here texts are used to guide, answer questions and inspire, they are part of the design concept.
4. Photos, Videos
Bad: Low quality and common pictures, without consistency of the aesthetics of the elements.
Good: Carefully chosen images in high resolution, a single theme throughout, for example, faces, moments, environment, and videos that express the target that is supposed to be communicated.
WOW: The visual material follows a specific design concept. The pictures used are of high resolution and grab the eye. Usually, the material is original and not coming from “photo banks”.
5. Graphics – Illustration – Colors
Bad: Total absence of design coherence. Icons scattered around and wrong choice of colors, for example dark background in a page that displays a long text.
Good: Careful choice of graphic design, with no exaggerations. Icons that follow a common style and chosen in a way to reflect the company branding.
WOW: Colors reflect the mood that the designers wish to convey, dark, light, strict, and so on. Not only are they combined with the company branding but they also strengthen it. Depending on the design concept many times we come across exceptional illustrations, whether it’s forms, faces, movement or environment. Graphic elements are designed one by one in a unique manner.
"In a few words, your website is you. Its appearance is your aesthetics. Your words are the texts that make it up. The writing style is your attitude while you’re having a discussion. Your knowledge is its technology. The website visitor is the person standing across you at a professional meeting. You care."
6. Front / Back End Development – Programming
Bad: Usually, a CMS platform like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla has been installed and a template has been connected. So far, so good. Problems begin when dozens of plug-ins are used to show the weather or “optimize” for better performance. All these unnecessary tools create a huge number of files and functions that run in the background, slowing down performance and making the system vulnerable.
Good + WOW: The choice of CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla has been made so that it serves the administrator and the type of website. For example, WordPress is a better option that Drupal for a company website. Few or no plug-ins are installed and if a template has been used it’s so that its UI/UX elements or functions will be used. All the unnecessary elements have been removed. The front-end developer gets creative and materializes the design needs with imagination and originality and it shows in the final result.
7. Responsive / Adaptive Design (for devices)
Bad: Usually, the content is not adjusted for different devices or the browser’s resolution and even if responsive design has been applied, it’s not carefully adjusted so that the texts are legible and the images properly displayed. Generally, browsing on a mobile or other device is a bad experience.
Good: There is responsive design, content is adjusted according to the display dimensions and it’s legible.
WOW: If the desktop layout is demanding, the design of the mobile version might be quite different. Here the designer is trying to create an equally good impression in smaller dimensions. To achieve this, the whole structure of the website might be differentiated.
MDesigners 2019 | Design and development for HeaDs Research SA.
8. Proactive SEO – Search results
This has to do with tasks aiming at a better readability of the website from the search engines, before starting, throughout the development, and after the delivery of the website.
Bad: No research has been done regarding the search results before the website is structured and no actions have been made after the delivery.
Good: Maybe no Proactive SEO has been done but there is a coherent structure, which helps. Each page is supported by a relevant SEO tool that enables the administrator to set keywords, meta-descriptions and many more. The website is registered in systems that help with readability, such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics etc.
WOW: If asked, a SEO expert does a Proactive SEO analysis. This means targeting to specific results has been done in advance and the expert has made specific suggestions regarding the structure of the website design. SEO has been studied on content level as well and the relevant actions have been set.
9. Choosing Hosting Service
Choosing a hosting service is unacknowledged and this is bad!
Bad: Share hosting by a low cost provider, high downtime, slow speed and bad support center.
Good + WOW: Not all hosting services are equal so it’s important to choose a right, trustworthy provider, such as Bluehost and SiteGround. If we’re talking about a WordPress website, then hosting should be done on a WordPress Optimized server, which offers security, performance and almost 100% uptime.
10. Promotion strategy / Digital Marketing
Promoting or not a website is affected by many factors. If the administrator, however, wants results and traffic a specific promotion strategy needs to be followed.
Bad: Unfortunately, no promotion strategy has been used and website is left to its own fortune.
Good: Usually, there is a SEO infrastructure so that the website scores higher in search results.
WOW: A strategy has been set that will boost traffic, whereas SEO works on many levels and there is a social media support network.
We said that your Website is how you digitally introduce yourself and it matters greatly. You have three choices.
1) Be exposed and miss on opportunities.
2) Be decent and correct.
3) Stand out and make a good impression.
A good and a WOW website comprises of all the elements mentioned above, which need to be structured carefully and consistently. A good and a WOW website is a digital experience!
At MDesigners we believe in open communication between prospect clients and designers, aiming at creating visual identities and experiences that will move and inspire their audience.