5 Design Tips for a Unique Website
Having a website for a business, individual, or brand, is the bare minimum for establishing a reputation online..
But with the amount of companies and brands moving to the online space (thanks to remote work, freelancers, etc), there suddenly became a pressing need for not just quantity, but quality. More specifically, quality that transcends the typical ‘static’ web flow format that you can find on basically every startup businesses website (honestly, do they all just use the same template??). As technology advances and continued exposure to the same level of quality diminishes user experience, companies and brands must embrace the future of web design in order to continue captivating their audiences. Like many groundbreaking advancements, this starts with creative innovation.
Have you ever heard of The Glitch Mob? They’re an electronic music group that have arguably one of the most impressive websites- simple and clean yet extremely engaging and innovative in their design. Here’s a link to their site. This website was built by Austin web design agency, Lion's Share Digital, a full stack web and marketing company who have a diverse portfolio of building unique websites for companies, brands, artists, and more. Have a look at the awesome home page video that appears on the Glitch Mob Website:
Below, I’m going to share 5 design tips that can help you create a more engaging, forward-thinking, innovative website for your business or brand, to capture more attention and leave a lasting impression.
1. Use video content in your website banner
When someone comes to your website, it’s your job to capture their attention immediately and make them want to explore your site more. Traditionally, this is done by capturing and displaying your most important information above the fold. If we combine this concept with the notion of “content is king”, then utilizing video becomes an obvious solution to creating a unique, engaging website. If you look at the Glitch Mob website mentioned previously, you’ll see that their entire home page is a video on loop- that shows their performances, merchandise for sale, and more. It’s like a live portfolio and removes the need for users to navigate through their site, in order to learn and understand what their business is about. Using a video that auto-plays on the banner section of your website is a great way to captivate audiences from the get go.
Why then, do so many websites NOT use video? There could be many reasons- the most likely being problems with load times (videos are typically larger files), not to mention the problem of where these videos are hosted- are there storage fees associated? There’s also the problem of scalability- how does your website video appear on different devices? Agencies like Lion Share Digital can help you get a better understanding of how embedded videos will affect your load times, and they can suggest ways to optimize the video performance (through compression, server side loading, etc).
2. Create animated text on your website
The worst websites are the ones that feel completely static, and have no life to them. To combat this, we can create unique text animations that give the impression of something happening in real time. Take a look at my personal portfolio website (link) and notice how the text appears to “type” itself, as if you were watching someone actually type a message, backspace, then type again. It’s engaging!
3. Add social proof to your website
For websites having to do with e-commerce, much of the design strategy has to do with encouraging sales. Messages that say “buy now” or “limited time offer” are traditional for trying to get people to take action and make a purchase. While this can definitely work, there are more effective ways to design your website to encourage conversions/sales. If you’ve never heard of social proof, it’s the concept that people are more likely to engage a product or service if they see someone else using it- typically (and ironically) a stranger. By seeing validation from random people on the internet, they feel like the website or services/products are vindicated and are much more likely to be useful/legit.
On your website, you can very easily place things like customer testimonials, use cases, and more. In fact, there are some services dedicated to creating LIVE social proof popups, with messages that say things like “Tom just bought product X from Arizona” and “Sally just referred three of her friends to sign up and earned $25”. You have no idea who Tom or Sally are, but socially, you feel like the product or service offered is valuable to some people- this can be enough to swing sales upwards by as much as 25%, according to some sources.
There are even services dedicated to providing social proof on social media- to help businesses and brands get crowd validation via posts and trends.
4. Use a single-page format for your website
In our exceedingly complex world, minimalism continues to be a shocking yet satisfying delight for website visitors. If you can capture the essence of your business/brand and create a simple, one page (no scroll) spread of your value proposition (think elevator pitch), then you’ll capture audiences much more quickly. Many websites have PAGES of content that explain their services, which is sometimes necessary for complex topics, but often these sites are clunky and difficult to digest. When we’re talking about effective website design for marketing and representation purposes, simplicity can go a long way.
Lion Share Digital has a variety of case studies they’ve done and customers they've built websites for, that very much follow this practice of minimal, simple design. I already mentioned their Glitch Mob client, but have a look at their work for Summer Meltdown Festival- it’s clean, easy to digest, and all the important info is contained to a single page, with minimal scrolling needed.
5. Add UI engagement to your website
The final tip for designing a unique website is to find ways to directly engage with the visitor. Some websites choose to integrate small browser games directly into their page- making the experience more fun for visitors. Others will change the users cursor to something relevant to their business or brand. Others yet (for example WeTransfer) will occasionally create images that require the user to “wipe” their cursor across it, in order to reveal the message beneath. It comes down to creativity and finding ways to engage with your visitors in ways that other websites DON’T. Keep in mind though, user engagement-type content can be taxing on website speed, so it’s important to have a good understanding of how your design is affecting user experience.
If you’re unsure of ways to encourage this type of unique engagement (or really, any of these web design tips), then I really suggest contacting a marketing/web agency that specializes in creative works. Creativity, married with technology is the surest way to create content that leaves a lasting impression on your website’s visitors. Lion Share Digital is a full stack marketing and web agency that has a respectable portfolio of clients and takes great care of building something that truly sets you apart from the competition. You can get in touch with them on their website!
Overall, having a creatively unique website is a sure way to leave a lasting impression on your visitors at worst, and can dramatically improve conversions (sales, signups, traffic, etc) at best. Take the time to understand what your particular community would find useful or interesting on your website, and then design creative solutions based on that. Good luck!
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