Caveat. Unless you’re a graphic designer.

You may have learned how to code. But that doesn’t mean you have the skills to design a website. Trust us. We’ve seen some of those sites. Actually, we’ve redone some of those sites!

Yes, this is one of those instances when hiring a graphic designer is well worth your while. Even if it looks like something you think you could tackle, there’s more to an effective website than just picking colors.

graphic design

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Thanks Stuart!

Here are five things a professional graphic designer brings to a website that you probably don’t: 

1. Readability
Choosing fonts isn’t just picking ones you like. Legibility is paramount when reading digital copy. Can viewers read the copy? REALLY read it? On a cell phone as well as a laptop? A professional designer takes all possible screen sizes into consideration when choosing fonts. For headlines, subheads and body copy.

Are you using reverse type (where type overprints white on a darker background)? If so, can people read it? We’ve all seen sites where the background is so busy you can’t read the content. That only works if you don’t care if anyone reads it or not. Unlikely.

2. Branding
The look and feel of your website needs to look like the look and feel of your logo and any other marketing material you might already have.

Don’t have any? Your website needs to convey the look and feel of your product or service. What’s your brand message? Will visitors to your site clearly understand what it’s all about or will they have to fiddle around to discover who you are and what you do?

Warning: not everyone will stay long enough to fiddle around.

3. User Experience
A digital designer understands how people use a website. She knows that design is a critical part of navigation. Graphic elements. Type. Colors. All of those impact how visitors move through a website. If you want those visitors to have a positive experience on your site, you need to ensure that that happens.

4. Conversion
You want your website to look good. Slick. Cool. Sophisticated. Whatever it is you’re trying to convey to someone who lands on your site.

But that’s not enough. It needs to perform. It needs to convert browsers to (potential) customers. Get visitors to bookmark it, sign up for a newsletter, read your blog, send you an email, call you…..you get it. It is, after all, just a marketing tool.

5. Shareability
Is your website designed to be socially successful?

Have you made it easy for visitors to share pages, images, articles and other content? A graphic designer…… ideally with a good copywriter…..knows how to lead visitors to share your content easily and effortlessly.

If you’re not happy with the way your website is performing, maybe a redesign is in order. I happen to partner with a terrific graphic designer at What A Great Website. We’re happy to chat to see how we might help.

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