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7 Ways to Make Your Alaska Website Design Awesome

7 Ways to Make Your Alaska Website Design Awesome

Oct 06 2016

We all appreciate web design (whether we know it or not)

I love web design. And so do you. If you think you don’t care – you’re wrong.

How do I know? Because unless you don’t mind trying to navigate old or poorly designed websites, which feel like a trip to the DMV, then you DO care. I’ve never met anybody who likes dealing with bad websites.

That being said, almost all non-developers don’t know *why* websites pack the right punch so much as they *feel* it. Here’s a look at the things we don’t actively say “wow that’s cool,” but very, ever so subtly, we frown inside when they are absent. So look through decide: does your Alaska website do any of these things?

Do you know an “interactive” website looks like?

Interactive is a big word these days. Probably because it’s one of the primary distinguishes between modern sites – responsive, user friendly, SEO optimized – and dated sites. Interactive website is kind of a nebulous phrase so let’s put it more simply: An interactive website visually responds to things that you do. It makes websites more fun, more interesting, and frankly, a cut above most.

Click Effect

Click me!
No contest, I'm the clickiest
Not him click me!

Hover Effect

I change color!

I change size!

What do I do?

 I disappear!!

  • Hover effects: something happens when your mouse hovers over a piece of the page
  • Click effects: something happens when you click on a piece of the page
  • Transitions: an animation happens after you click/hover over something
Notice how when each element is hovered or clicked on that there is a time-transition between the way it looks before and after you click/hover.
Interactivity may the “most-right stuff.” If your website is interactive, then congratulations. Web design in Alaska is sorely missing this kind of interactivity. How interactive is your website?

Websites are designed for ideal visitors

Websites need to be developed with a specific type of user in mind. You’re “ideal” user. If you’re unsure if you website does have an ideal user, ask yourself some basic questions about your website:

  • What is the style of my images (fun, interesting, healthy, stylish, etc.)?
  • What is the mood of my writing (informative/detailed, upbeat, authoritative)?
  • What is the layout of my website (navigational, full screen, sectional)?
And so on. Do your answers line up with what your ideal audience probably wants?

The point is that building a website without having a very firm idea of what type of person you are developing your website for. We built a high end clothing website recently that was heavily “imagematic”, soft colors, and full of transitions – because people who visit the site want something aesthetically pleasing.
Before I have ever begin designing a website, I always discuss who the website is being built for. It’s an expectation in the background/planning phase of Alaska website design and development.

If you can summarize in a couple of sentences what type of person(s) your website is built for, then you are at least headed in the right direction.

Your website gets one blink (about 3 seconds) – common sense navigation

It’s called the blink test. It’s extremely important. It's one of the fundamental pieces of any website. Basically, when you land on a page, you should be able to orient yourself about where things are, and what things do, before you blink. If you can do that, you pass.

If you blink before you are clear about where everything is, you fail. The point of the blink test is to make sure that:

  • Placement of items (navigation bar, links, etc.)
  • Layout
  • Design
are intuitive to use and find.
If your website has the right stuff, you will most definitely pass the blink test.

Don't use elevator music images

One question: does your website have stock images?

As a photographer, these images creep me out. 

Terrible stock images like this have no place on websites

If yes, then that is very much so the wrong type of content. Don’t fool yourself - even beautiful, high quality stock images look ugly on your website.
They stick out like a sore thumb. They don’t say anything about what your business is about. They don’t demonstrate your business’s style. 

Professional, creative photography is very affordable, and can make or break a website - they are definitely essential pieces of Alaska website design. Alaska is built for photography. The important thing is that YOUR images are customized for YOUR website. If your images are *real*, and high quality, then you have the right stuff.

The common website theme that is useless

Image carousels – or image slider – seem like a good idea. They move. They’re active. They scroll through your pictures. But guess what? They’re a waste of time.  Just look at this eye tracking study.

Nobody wants to wait for each picture to drag by. Nobody looks image sliders. It’s background noise. Basically, it’s annoying clutter. Some image sliders give people the option of clicking through themselves, but many force their audience to patiently watch each picture dissolve into the next.
If your website has an image slider, it is most definitely not the right stuff.

Shouldn’t look like a Wikipedia page

Do you like Wikipedia? I sure do. “Wiki-journeys” (an hour of clinking one link to the next) are great. But heavy text is an extremely poor choice for just about any other website. The right stuff is almost exclusively *visual*:

  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Designs
  • Space and color
Writing should be short, sweet, and to the point.

Which is another way of saying that good websites are understood and digested visually, and good web writing functions purely to inform basic information.
If your website is focused around visual imagery – then you are on the right track.

If you are interested in seeing how well your website is designed, check out our free website grader - it's free!