We frequently find clients who consider that web design is what makes their website "pretty". Clients whom, even if you send them a full, well performed report on to which structure their web will have, they still claim "It's missing design", truly wanting to say in a sugar coated way, that is way too ugly for them to pay (In their opinion, of course).
Dear costumers of the world: A design is not just a "cosmetic" layer adorning your content, design itself it is also a strategic methodology, and , overall, a functional answer to your needs. The design must, above all, solve concrete problems, must be USEFUL.
Having this in mind is fundamental, as a client, before going to your web designer, that you have clear ideas of what problems is your website having in present time or which goals are you trying to meet (have more visits, more sales, have better costumer engagement...)
If you are the web designer, you must make sure that your costumer has a strategy, the goal they need to meet when hiring you. Only this way you could really evaluate in the future how much has your design helped into meeting these first goals; and if your client is not "cosmetically" convinced of your work, or assures you that you have done a bad design (that sounds rough, let's rephrase it.), you've done a unprofitable design, you could also refute (with data in hands) that your design worked for so or so reason, visit raise, sales raise, engagement quality increased,etc...
So, How do I know if a Design really works?
First of all, before you start using Photoshop 'till it burns, it is of the most necessary to have quick report on your costumer's current website status (Number of visits, conversion rate...). All data that can be offered by your client are useful and necessary as point A, so you can get to point B. To know if your design works you will need to measure and compare these results later.
Some interesting facts:
• The number of visits, is something very simple to measure with tools such as Google Analytics, but the fact is that on very rare occasions the increase or decrease of visits will depend exclusively on the design of a website, and not the communication make it or SEO strategies, Social Media, etc.. • A perhaps more interesting fact is that the number of visits will be the time spent on the website (also measured with Google Analytics). If the website you designed is clear, pleasant and interesting, users will go from spending an average time on your web to spending more time on it. To ensure that a user stays on your site longer the first thing you have to do is worry about at all times inform your users where they are and what they can do here. If you have questions when responding to some of these questions will go away. • The conversion rate is calculated dividing the number of total conversions (sales) between the number of total visits. It is if no use that thousands of people go to your online store if nothing engages the costumer to accomplish a sale. • In general, your designer's main concern would be to optimize the final purpose of your website, but this is not something simple to measure. The best solution to know if your users know how to navigate your web properly is asking them or observing them while interacting with your design. You can ask your family, friends or anonymous users through specialized tools such as Usertesting or Five Second Test. The feedback you get from your website's beta testers, will be key into your design's development.
The aesthetics of your design is a relatively subjective, or at least debatable. However, if we go by the functionality of the design, we enter into an aspect where everything is measurable and objective. No need to become a web analyst, you can understand, by consulting your developer, the reasons why now your website sells more than before. You will be a happy customer paying an invoice based on objective data. And everybody's happy :) Hoped you love this article, stay tuned for more!