Creating a visually engaging and memorable website (when done well) will help you scale your brand and boost your brand recognition. Having a consistently branded digital experience gives your customers confidence and increases brand loyalty. However, it is not always easy to achieve this as your visual identity is more than icons and visual assets; it’s the visual harmony of all these elements working together seamlessly. When this is achieved you can create a memorable impression on your target audience which is an experience that you can build on with useful information and valuable content. This creates a really strong initial connection with prospective customers.
The visual aspect of your website is incredibly important to the appeal of your brand and (depending on your target audience) can make or break the first impression a potential customer has with your business. To get the foundation of your website visuals right is the first step to creating a brand boosting website. There are different tools available to achieve this foundational brand work. Google Venture has a short brand sprint that you can do yourself or with the leadership of your company. Branding agencies also provide this as a half day or full day workshop. Ingot has a four hour brand strategy workshop that we do to lay the groundwork for a visual identity design.
Understanding Brand Strategy
The purpose of brand strategy is understanding what touchpoints your customers have with your business and finding the overlap between their values and the values that make up your brand. The goal is to create an objective framework so that decision making about your brand personality is derived from the relationship that you have with your customers. Having clarity on this gives you a language to then discuss with designers and craft a visual identity.
Your visual identity includes:
- Patterns and illustrations
Feeling confident about the visual identity of your business before beginning a website design project sees the best results when the goal is crafting a really visually engaging site. We often see the best website designs are a direct result of this. If you a leadership team is conflicted or unsure of their brand personality and brand strategy then we highly recommend beginning your project with brand strategy. However if all of the website stake holders are on the same page then let’s get stuck into a site redesign!
Crafting a visually engaging and memorable website
Now that we are really confident about our brand strategy all visual website decisions can be run through the filter of the foundational brand work – this streamlines the website design process immensely and sets up the website design team for the best possible outcome.
A successful website can now be designed to tell a brand’s story effectively, by cohesively using key visual elements and animations. Interspersing useful content with memorable brand elements keeps the user hooked which leads to higher website conversion rates. For example we recently completed a project that demonstrates this effectively, with meaningful branded icons and visual elements throughout the website keeping the user engaged. Because the animations are meaningfully crafted from the brand work we are able to effectively create a visual reminder to the user of what the values of the business are and help communicate the overlap between customer needs/values and your business.
Surprise me! The design principle of surprise
When making a connection between your brand and potential (or existing) customers having an element of surprise is key to being memorable. How often when having an interaction with an accounting company’s marketing do you think – that’s clever, cool or fun! For example, adding animated icons that represent your values and evoke an emotional response (even a subtle one) when executed well is something that can be done to set your digital presence apart in your industry. We think that the website experience is an opportune environment to express the personality of the people doing the job rather than representing the more routine aspects of your business. Unfortunately the former is all too common. Please don’t be another business that misses out on the opportunity to connect with your customers, instead surprise and delight them with something cool they haven’t seen before by someone in your industry.
The web design process
Prototypes are where it’s at. Quickly and efficiently wireframe your site, get feedback from all stakeholders and iterate without committing to writing heaps of custom code only to find out that the design isn’t quite what was needed. Prototypes are cheap and can be picked apart and reworked in minutes or during a zoom meeting with designers, project managers and stakeholders present. Collaboration is key to creating on-brand marketing and getting those truly epic online experiences as visually engaging as possible is no different.
Have a solid brand strategy, surprise the user and use prototypes.
We have found that there are a few key things that lead to consistently creating a visually engaging website that drives conversions. A beautifully on-brand experience starts with a solid brand strategy, once that work is done and your business is aligned with your target audience and how to visually connect with them – we are good to get into it! Make sure your site is alive by surprising the user with some creative brand elements to help you stand out from your competitors. Prototype and test before committing to expensive web developer hours (as much as possible). Keeping these things in mind is key when transforming your website from a template into something unique and visually engaging. If you want more guidance on how to achieve this challenging but exciting task then consider working with the Ingot team to produce a really effective and memorable site.