How to craft a great brand website

Designer David Paterson discusses the important role that branding plays in nailing a website design and outlines his steps for crafting a great website!

"Can you just swap the logo for this one…?"

That’s a recent request that got me thinking about branding and the role it plays in nailing a website design.

Whilst a logo is a great way to portray your company values and proposition in a recognisable way - there’s much more to creating a digital platform for your business.

The value is created by taking your goals, aspirations and key proposition, and communicating them clearly and confidently to your visitors.

This can be achieved through a combination of tone of voice and messaging, interesting content, clear design principles and suitable supporting imagery and styling. These factors are all knitted together by your digital agency, and can be a huge milestone in the success of any company who want to make an impact in a digital world.

Here’s my sequence for crafting a great website:

Key Messaging

“We do A to help you achieve B”.

The core proposition of your website needs to be front and centre. And the best way to get it across to your visitors and potential customers, is by talking to them clearly and in simple terms. Copywriters and creatives will help explore, understand and then put into words what a business is trying to say.

It’s all about the content!

Once a tone of voice and messaging is nailed, it’s about creating great content that helps get it across to users in an interesting and digestible way. For example, a list of items or milestones could easily be brought to life in the form of an infographic - making it more engaging for users and more shareable too! An ‘about us’ section can be changed from a lengthy company history, to an inspiring and exciting video that really brings your brand to life - or an interactive timeline that lets users really interact with and get to know your business.

Design principles and site structure

Using the content that now exists for your website, the structure of the pages can take place. Components are designed to house the different pieces of information that need to go on your site. Body copy, call to actions, video, infographics, blog pieces and so on - these are all carefully considered and pieced together. These are then constructed into page templates and then positioned as part of a user journey in line with your strategy and insights led sitemap.

Styling and imagery

Following the wireframing and planning of the components and site structure, the pages are brought to life through everything from font styling to micro interactions. Photography and illustrations will firstly be collected on mood boards before being carefully placed throughout the site to support the messaging. Most importantly, these assets are created to sit perfectly in situ with the businesses corporate identity and key messaging.

These elements all knit together to create a valuable and unique brand experience. It’s definitely a challenge to get there, but one that as a designer is something that really drives us to get up in the morning and come into the studio (with a coffee and bacon roll in hand)!