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Web Designers Capture Your Business’s Unique Essence

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”
–Milton Glaser

It’s that time of year when buds are blossoming, temps are getting warmer—spring is springing! While you have spring cleaning for your home or office in mind, how about spring cleaning for the digital space you inhabit online: your website?

Since web design is one of our specialties here at Sitka, we wanted to pull back the curtain and show you some of the work that goes on behind the scenes in design. Think of what we do as an HGTV makeover. Ever been wowed by those jaw-dropping before and after photos at the end of each episode? Us too. Ready to see some of the action between those “before” and “after” moments? Let’s start with the simple question: what, exactly, does a designer do?

Web Designers Capture Your Business’s Unique Essence

Building a website with a professional is highly collaborative, with your unique brand and vision as the focus. What this means is that whether you provide the content or ask us to create it, we can enhance your website with features that will get you noticed.

Because we aim for excellence, we get granular. We get into the nooks and crannies of what your business is all about so your website can reflect your business and brand in the best way possible. Some considerations might include:

  • What is your mission statement?
  • What impression do you want to make on visitors to your site?
  • Who is your audience?
  • Are you using your site to inform, to educate, to inspire, or to sell?
  • What action do you want your visitors to take after checking out your site?

Once we know what your website goals are, we give thoughtful attention to the overall look and feel of your website. In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss a few essentials: Color, fonts, and ADA compliance.

#1: Color Theory

Color theory is a fascinating mix of science and art. It explains how humans perceive and react to color, including the emotions and messages it conveys. With the first color wheel invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666, the study of color predates the internet by at least a few hundred years. Of course, the color wheel has evolved quite a bit since then, but today professional designers in various industries rely on it—interior designers, makeup artists, book makers, film makers, and you guessed it, website designers.

Just like there’s a story behind your business and brand, in the same way, the colors you choose tell a story, too. So while you might want to use your favorite color on your site, it might not be the strongest one for your website personality. Check out a few examples of the messages colors convey:

  • Red: Danger, excitement, energy, and even impulse buying
  • Orange: Warmth, youthfulness, boldness, adventure, creativity
  • Purple: royalty, majesty, mystery (Fun fact: Cadbury’s regal purple was chosen as a tribute to Queen Victoria)
  • Green: Nature, growth, health, sustainability, wealth
  • Blue: Calm, comfort, cleanliness, reliability, trust
  • Brown: Down to earth, honest, organic

Think of some of the brands you know and the colors they use. From Coca-Cola’s red to Whole Food’s green, all of their colors tell a story about the business or product. This is no different from what web designers do. We are knowledgeable about the messages those colors convey. Whether you choose to go with an analogous, complementary, or monotone color palette, we can help you make sure your website accurately represents your distinct story and brand.

#2: Font Selection

Moving on to font selection, trust us when we say that Comic Sans or Papyrus might not always be the best choice. We say that in jest, but choosing a font deserves serious thought. With readability and legibility as a goal, you don’t want to turn away website users because your content is hard on the eyes.

Let’s break that down further: Legibility refers to the design of the typeface or font itself, such as the width between letters, serifs or sans serifs, or decorative fonts (e.g., cursive or calligraphic types). Readability includes font selection, but also involves factors such as spacing between lines, text size, and text color.

For example, a decorative font such as cursive might have low legibility and readability. Fancy elements such as swirls are pretty, but they also require time for the eyes to adjust; it might not be the best choice for lengthy content such as a blog post. If the text color is too light or the font size is too small, it will be difficult to read no matter the content type. Conventional fonts are usually recommended for text-based content because they contain easily recognizable letter shapes and are easier to read. Also, some fonts are best used as titles and headings, whereas others are best used for paragraphs.

#3: ADA Compliance   

Another crucial feature that often gets overlooked is accessibility, or ADA compliance. In other words, is your website accessible to all users, no matter the ability? Imagine your website as a building. Being ADA compliant is like equipping your building with ramps, elevators, braille signage, and other assistive technologies so that all can have an enjoyable experience during their visit.

While creating your own site might be tempting, you also don’t want to inadvertently create barriers that prevent people from accessing the part of the “building” they’re trying to get to. Some examples of ADA compliance on the web are:

  • Making sure there is enough contrast between the text color and background. This makes your content accessible to people with limited vision or color blindness.
  • Adding closed captions to your videos for people with hearing disabilities.
  • Writing clear labels and instructions on online forms, and making sure those forms are compatible with screen readers.
  • Making your website navigable using the keyboard, for users who aren’t able to use a mouse.
  • Writing text alternatives (alt-text) for people who are visually-impaired. Alt-text describes visuals such as charts, illustrations, graphs, and other images.

Web designers can help you create an accessible website, choose colors, fonts, and write alt-text for visuals so that everyone can benefit from what your site has to offer.

We at Sitka are passionate about what we do, with over 20 years of expertise in web design. We’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg in this post, and as you can see, so much more goes into web design than meets the eye! Want a new website or to update the one you already have? Give us a call. We’d love to collaborate with you to make your website shine.

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