Creating a website is a very individual thing for a business owner and equally for the web designer themselves. Personal preference and pride are an important aspect to making a site individual and unique as well as resulting in it ‘meaning’ something to the business, rather than just being ‘any old website’.
But a mistake made by web designers is crossing the boundary between being involved and too involved. The main difference between art and design is that design is creating within boundaries, whether that is boundaries imposed by your boss’s demands, that of a client or within the constrictions of what is expected of you by your audience and industry. Art reflects freedom whilst design represents freedom within constriction, and it’s an important mindset for a designer to get in to.
So when designing a website it is important to fuse your own creativity with that of both your expectant audience and the industry within which the business revolves. Determine exactly what demographic, age range and sex the audience are of the website you are designing so that you can match that with your colour choice or general style. Equally at what stage of the buying cycle will the user be entering your site? Whether they are at the information gathering stage or ready to make a purchase will shape your layout as well as the text on the site. This then needs to be intertwined with comparative websites within your industry; if all of your competitor sites are red then this is a good benchmark to both integrate and differentiate from. Conduct thorough market research and allow your design to fuse this with your own creative spark.
Remember – a website design is not just about you the designer, it is about creating stunning design within the constriction of your audience and industry.