Every brand is alive. Brand components including websites and other digital properties require care, feeding and maintenance.
Whether your company is large or small, make sure your brand shifts with your business.
Like many freelancers, I started out as a generalist trying to serve everyone, and I clung to a familiar corporate persona long after I turned in my State Farm badge and keycard. My previous website design on the left reflects an old comfort zone and an outdated identity. I’m not a PA specialist or lobbyist today, but my work history equips me to help clients ignite their brands and their messages like no one else. My redesigned website expresses my creative personality, not just my corporate heritage.
Consider the role of color in website design and accessibility.
Green makes me think of growth, and I like the way the accent color complements the color of my dress in the large photo on my homepage. However, roughly 8% of men (and .5% of females) see green and red differently than the majority of the population due to a condition called deuteranopia. For those affected by this form of “color blindness,” greens and reds are muted into similar tones of tan and olive. Like my dress, the green accent color throughout my website won’t be as bright to visitors with deuteranopia, and the green buttons at the bottom of most pages may blend in slightly with the black background. However, the white lettering should provide enough contrast for navigation.
You can see simulated examples of how images appear to those with deuteranopia on Vischeck.
(A tip for those who also use Beaver Builder: If you’d like to see your links underlined before a user hovers over linked text, visit the Beaver Builder Knowledge Base to collect the CSS and a few easy instructions. Underlining makes my green links more visible.)
Use analytics to guide design adjustments.
Design is a critical component of User Experience (UX), and analytics tools can show you how your visitors travel through your site. Unless you want to invest in research tools such as eye trackers and heat maps, you won’t know if visitors read all the content on a page they’ve visited. But you do know one thing: They can’t read content they haven’t seen.
I kept the original drop-down menu under Portfolio on the main menu bar, until I realized most people hovered to reveal the drop-down menu and clicked the 1st or 2nd option without visiting the Portfolio page. (The Portfolio page includes an important message: I sometimes work under confidentiality agreements that will not let me share certain clients’ deliverables or identities.) I also wanted visitors to see a short description of portfolio options instead of project titles. Removing the drop-down menu did the trick.
A few more changes are always underway. I want to try adjusting my CSS to reposition the frame around the Contact option on my main menu bar, and, since some visitors land directly on a blog post, I can use the After Posts widget to add some descriptive text at the bottom of each entry. I also think my Services page might need less text or more breaks and white space.
Ready for a website upgrade? Let a designer or developer show you what’s possible.
As a writer and editor, I love referring clients to creative designers and developers. I’m happy to connect people to these talented colleagues, including several who specialize in building or renovating websites for faith-based organizations, e-commerce operations, small businesses, entrepreneurs, professional speakers and published authors.
Candace Schilling offers PR Communication and Training to spiritual teachers and faith-based communities. For more inspiration as well as tips about marketing and strategic communication, check out her articles or find Candace on LinkedIn.