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Why is good design important?

What is Design?

Design for websites can be split into two categories: UI Design and UX Design.
UI = User Interface.
UX = User Experience.

 They are similar in that they both have the same goal in mind: a good design.
But they do have some key differences...
UI Design focuses on the aesthetics of the website’s interface. It is responsible for the look and feel of the layout, making sure everything is visually appealing, cohesive and interacts with the user in a pleasant way.
UX Design focuses on the user journey and their overall experience navigating through the site. It is responsible for the structure of the website as a whole, making sure that navigation is intuitive and easy-to-understand so that people can find what they are looking for.
Here a 9 reasons why design is quite important when presenting information.

More Engagement

An improved user experience gives users a pleasant, smooth experience and is much more engaging leading to longer sessions, higher conversion and engagement rates. This is what makes a website useful and effective; without this, a website is a little pointless as it is not fulfilling its purpose. So how do you improve UX?

You can start by planning out the journey a user will take to do/find something specific on your site. This is called User Flow and can be presented in a chart during the wireframe phase of building a website. Doing this will help you see what type of CtA (Call to Action) will work and how best to structure your content so that your visitors can have a straight-forward, smooth experience. People don’t want to think too much, let your website lead them in the right direction and make it as clear as possible.
A UX designer will often also collect data on your competitors and industry as well as your own website’s performance to make sure they can make well-educated decisions that will lead to good outcomes.
Another useful trick is to create “user personas” which will include quite detailed aspects of a person (eg. age, interests, values, profession etc.) in your website’s target audience. This helps to visualise who you are building the website for and put yourself in their shoes, thinking about what they would enjoy / want from your website.

First Impression

Design is communicated faster than words. It decides whether your visitor has a good first impression or a negative one. In other words, whether they decide to stay on your site or click off. A good design has to be impactful, load well and give people an idea of what your website is about / why it is useful to them so that it can communicate quickly why your visitor should stay and look at the rest of your content.

It reflects your values and personality

A good design will show people who you are, what you care about and your personality.

Makes a website more readable

Good design gives your content a hierarchy of importance and a clear structure. It gives users an intuitive layout that is easy to read by breaking up long text into different sections with headlines and gaps. In some cases, using diagrams, illustrations or photos to make content more scannable / understandable. Consistent design (for example having a set colour scheme, navbar location etc.) will keep a website cohesive and not confuse users so they can navigate the site easily.

It's immersive

Websites give design the opportunity to interact with the user so why not take advantage of this? Interactive elements can include things like a form or filter which have a very practical purpose or they could be hover/focus effects and animations which serve a more decorative purpose. But careful! Don’t overdo this because it can lead to a chaotic site overwhelming the user. But done well, these elements can significantly improve the usability of your site making it easier for the user to find what they are looking for as well as create an immersive experience which engages the visitor.

Influences people

Good design will influence how people think and feel, encouraging them to read more and engage with your website. It will spark certain emotions; an example for this could be a charity website that probably will make you feel sad, privileged, angry and generous. It can also build trust with the visitor creating a connection between you and your target audience.

Competitive advantage

If your design is good and includes these aspects then you will have an advantage over your competitors. Search engines will recognise good design through higher engagement rates, quality content and more traffic, rewarding it by bumping your website up the rankings.