When most people think of web design, they think about what the individual pages look like: the color scheme, the layout, the photos, the text size, and font. Those things matter, but good web design is defined as much by what’s happening behind the scenes as what visitor sees on the page.
As an architect, you understand this. An attractive design can be aesthetically pleasing and attract attention, but it can never be enough to compensate for poor functionality. Just as a home or office has to work properly to be a good value, so does a website.
On this page, you’ll get an overview of why web design for architects is the cornerstone of your firm's Internet marketing plan, and why all the different elements have to work together to produce a website that delivers an exceptional user experience for your clients.
Your website is your chance to make a first impression. If people like what they see, they’re more likely to stay on your site, browse other pages, and reach out to you via email or social media. If they don’t like it, they won’t come back. In short, the quality of your website directly affects the success of your firm.
Some of the results of a well-designed website include:
A good website design enables visitors to find the information they need so they can reach out if they want to learn more. This requires the proper layout of content, as well as easy access to communication options that allow both potential and current clients to get in touch with your firm.
Bad web design doesn’t just look bad—it performs poorly. A professional web designer knows how to create a site that not only looks nice, but also loads quickly and contains interactive features that work properly every time.
A poorly-designed website will drive even the most interested business prospect away. Good design keeps them on the site longer, making them more likely to browse other pages and increasing the likelihood they’ll come back.
Google and other search engines prefer sites that move seamlessly from one device to another. Responsive web design enables your site to display the same content on desktops, tablets, and smartphones, leading to more visitors and a higher ranking on search engines.
No one would trust a project worth millions of dollars to a company whose website looks like it was created by amateurs. Good web design increases confidence among potential clients that your firm can deliver what it promises.
In order to create an effective, efficient website, it’s important to identify the elements of good design and implement them into your website.
Website design for architects should follow the same logic as an architectural project. The designer sketches out a vision and then makes sure it can be sustained on a strong foundation.
Your website will be the center of your online existence, so it should represent your firm in the best possible light. At the same time, it needs to be built in such a way that it’s easy to navigate and maintain.
On the surface, your website should contain the following elements:
People don’t read text online the way they do on a page. It’s for this reason that your website should use a simple font that is easy to read. Additionally, your content should be broken up into small sections with headers and subheaders (much like this page), which allows readers to skim for important information.
The background on your site should be a solid color like white, gray, or black. This makes text easier to read and helps graphics stand out. Other elements, like side menus or headers and footers, should appear in bold, solid colors and clearly display boilerplate information.
You run an architectural firm, which means that photos are essential to displaying your expertise. Web design for architects focuses on highlighting this kind of content, so don’t forget to place photos on your site in appropriate locations like a gallery or on case study pages.
Visitors judge a website by how easy it is to move around and find what they need. Your design scheme needs to reflect how visitors navigate a site and position menus, key content and calls to action accordingly.
As we mentioned, it’s not just the visible elements of website design that matter. Don’t forget to consider the elements that affect your site’s performance, such as:
You’re probably going to be making frequent updates to your site’s content. Your ability to make these changes depends on the content management system (or CMS) you use. If you don’t have a reliable CMS, these changes may take a long time.
Your design scheme must enable visitors to access and share content, sign up to follow you on social media, and email your firm via a contact form directly. If it doesn’t, your visitors are likely to leave for a website that does what they want it to.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, determines how visible a website is in search engine results. If a website has good SEO, it will rank highly for relevant keywords; if it has bad SEO, it won’t rank well at all.
Your design can affect your SEO, in that poorly designed websites will cause visitors to leave quickly, driving up what is known as your “bounce rate.” Websites with a high bounce rate don’t rank as well as those with a low one. So it’s in the best interest of your architectural firm website’s SEO to make both your design and SEO as good as possible.
These are difficult and time-consuming decisions, even for someone with website design experience. When you trust these decisions to a professional firm, you end up with a professional-looking, functional website that attracts prospects, serves as a crucial part of your marketing plan, and strengthens your brand.
Now that you understand the importance of effective website design for architects, you might be wondering how you should update your own website, or if it might even be time for a full redesign. WebpageFX is here to help you with all your web design and development needs.
Our experienced designers will work with you to create an attractive design for your website. Our development team will ensure consistent performance by streamlining navigation, ensuring fast load times and optimizing the user experience. The end result will be a website that looks great, ranks highly, and brings in the clients you want.
Contact one of our web design experts to find out how we can help you grow your architectural business with a great-looking website. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebpageFX can improve your online performance.