Custom Web Design – Best Suited For a Business with Unique Needs!
The days of web design are long passé. It’s gone. RIP. Confused? Well, when every web solutions provider out there is offering what is being referred to as a custom web design (yes, that’s what they call it these days), there is little to no room for its un-customised predecessor. Good times, eh? After all, you can now have a design that’s for your audience – a design that brings your ideas to life – in short, a design that’s virtually yours. Of course, someone else executes it for you, but that’s just about it. You are at the helm of affairs here.
Wait a minute! Is it for real, tailor-made design that is? Sorry for being a spoilsport, but then, it does come as a surprise that meeting your individual needs is now a child’s play. What’s even more surprising is that everyone seems to be doing it. You never can tell. Or maybe you can, if you know what customisation is all about.
Let’s start then. Technically, any design that’s tailored for you, regardless of the nature of your business or say, your industry, is “custom”. For instance, if you offer financial services, the design for your website is unlikely to include extraneous colours, not that these should find a place in web design anyway, but just saying. Likewise, if your business demographic is such that you mostly cater to people between the ages of 70 and 80, you can’t afford to bring “happy talk” anywhere near your website – that’s like a big turn off for them.
Let’s try and get a hang of customisation with the help of an example.
Say, you need to get the design done for a commercial website. What are some of the recognisable icons you expect the designer to use? Well, you can figure it out later; let’s come to the point. If it’s an e-commerce site, then the same set of icons may not necessarily suffice. The icon on your left (yes the shopping cart one), however, may do some real good. The point is that if any of the web solutions providers claim to excel at tailor-made design, they must act like it. They must know what may work and what might not.
But, how many of them do know it? God, is customisation a white lie then? Hope not! Moving on, a custom design is something that has had different meanings over the years. Earlier, it was all about demographics, the nature of business and other such things. Now, you also need to keep in mind:
- The device in use
Tell a web design company that most of your users have smartphones and chances are that they’d come up with an even smarter (pun intended) solution – two sites – one for the regular audience and one for those with hand-held devices.
You know what – customisation can kill two birds with one stone – all that needs to be done is to tweak the design and make it a responsive one – yes, it may call for some extra effort, but at least that’s better than having two different sites, which by the way, can together, burn a hole in your pocket.
- The attention span
There are sites that are visited by attentive users. Take for example, sites that sell products. They often catch the fancy. Then there are information-rich sites, which may not be able to make the users look beyond the home page. So, if you have a site that shares, say, articles, videos, blogs and any other kind of informative material, you may have a hard time making the users stay. Thankfully, customisation can be of great help here.
- The relevance of anything and everything
What does a typical home page look like? Try and imagine or even better, check one online. 1 or 2 paragraphs that tell you what the site is all about, a couple of images and a box that’s full of “deals and offers” – that pretty much sums it up, right? Now let’s say, you visit a site that sells some celebrated artist’s paintings. Are a few images still good enough? Frankly, site seller can do without the content part here – yes, a line or two can do no harm and may go well with the audience, but in this case, every image is worth (more than) a thousand words. And there can always been an “About Me” section where they can talk of the painter.
Customisation for one is heavily dependent on what’s relevant.
- The rules you want to break
Let’s start with the 10 second one. What if your audience is unlikely to spare even 5 full seconds, leave alone 10? If that’s the case, you need a tailor-made web design that gives your audience a reason to start browsing right at the very moment they visit your site.
Similarly, as per the rulebook, you should try and stay away from mile-long pages. Truth be told, there can be times when creating 10 different pages may not be a good idea and you might have to place a great deal of information on a single page. Simply put, you may need to break a rule or two and if it wasn’t for customisation, doing so might have been next to impossible.
- The purpose of the design
Think, think. Okay, it helps you
- establish an identity online
- or sell/promote products and services
- or do both
You need to tell the web solutions provider whether you are looking for a marketing platform or are just happy being online – only then you can get an effective design. But that may not be enough – just telling them that is – if they are not into custom web design, just forget it.
- The focus area
First things first; it may be hard to believe but there’s more to a design than content and images. For instance, it may be of paramount importance for you to get connected to your audience “socially”, not that it is not for others, but you get the drift, right? Likewise, for someone else, it may be all about getting the audience involved.
In any such situation, their focus is likely to be on the contact forms and they might want these to be as secure as possible so that they can keep the spam to a minimum. That being said, the design has to be in sync with whatever is being focused on.
By now you must have got a fair idea of what is meant by “customisation”, but can the same be said about web design companies? Sadly, more often than not, companies don’t meet any of the criteria, relevance and responsiveness included. In fact, for some, it’s merely a marketing gimmick – the best they can offer is a one-for-all design – for them, a party store and a funeral service organiser are at par, if you know what that means.
Then there are some that make an even bigger mistake; they provide you with what you ask for, meeting your exact needs, but in the process forget that there are some things that are always important, customisation or no customisation. Say, if you are not able to update the site later on, what would you do with a custom design – it may not be of any use to you. And yes, if they let quality take a backseat, the design may do more harm than good, even if you have a tailor-made one. But all’s not lost and there’s hope. That’s because there are companies which undertake customisation the way it should be carried out, meeting all or most of the criteria we have discussed and without letting quality go for a toss. Finding one of them is what you should focus on.