This week Nic has handed the vlog off to me, Helcim's Italian Designer, so he can focus on the big changes that are coming at Helcim. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share how we approach design at Helcim and why it's so important for all businesses to put thought into their design choices.
My official title is not actually Helcim's Italian Designer, it is Chief Web Designer, and I am responsible for the look and feel of the Helcim website, our applications, and software.
Design can sometimes end up on the back burner when it comes to priorities with web design. The first thing people see, even before they know anything about the product, is the design. Customers make their initial judgments based on what they see first. If the initial imagery is appealing, then they might dig deeper and decide to learn more about the product. However, if the design is poor, then they will move on to another product that is more visually appealing to them. In other words, design taps into and informs your intuition and gives your messaging a "feel" before any of your content/messaging is actually properly consumed.
If you're a business owner, an entrepreneur, or working on a side project, then you can use design as a bridge between functionality and usability. By ensuring your business uses proper design fundamentals you can improve your customer's experience with your brand. Here are three things you can do as a business owner, to ensure your design enhances the products or services you offer and encourages customers to do business with you.
Ensure your website is accessible
By following design guidelines, such as using the right colors, the right shadows and contrast, and the right spacing, you can ensure that your content stands out. These items are very important for the readability of your website. Previously, web designers were focused on getting all of the content on the first half of the page, often referred to as above the fold, so that customers didn't have to scroll. This meant that the content ended up all squished together and difficult to read. Today, web designers understand the importance of adding spaces between paragraphs and using appropriately-sized text, so content is tidier and easier to read.
Keep up with the trends
Design trends are very important. No matter what type of business you have, you need to keep your brand up to date with current design trends. Outdated designs have the same negative effect that abandoned social media pages and blogs have if customers visit them. If they haven't been updated for some time, they feel like they've been forgotten as an afterthought to your business. Don't let this happen to you by planning for regular website reviews and updates.
Seek out inspiration from others
Two resources that I use if I am looking for design inspiration before I start a new project are dribbble.com and Behance.com. If you're just starting out with design or looking to learn more, then these are two resources I recommend you check out.
I believe that design and functionality are complimentary. When I am working on Helcim's design I want to ensure we're enhancing our merchants' experiences. And of course, I want to make sure everything looks sexy. Helcim's design has come a long way since I've joined the team and I am looking forward to continuing to enhance the company's design as we launch new products and features for our merchants.