I’ve been watching you struggle with building your digital sanctuary…
…And I’ve seen too many clients like you not squeezing all the value out of our work together: leaving copy to gather virtual dust in a folder whilst you fry your brain over either DIY-ing your website or trying to find someone amazing to take it off your hands and do the hard work for you.
So I’ve done the hard work for you (although, I’ll admit, I loved every minute of it) and I’ve found an amazing Web Designer to help you. Sammy works with clients through her website and branding packages and also provides fully bespoke designs, using platforms that are easy to manage and maintain yourself (don’t worry, she’ll show you how!)
You’re probably wondering at this point, “what’s in it for you, Lea?” And I applaud your discernment, you SHOULD be asking that.
First and foremost, I get to see my clients maximising their investment. Seeing you push that copy, that we worked together to tease out, into the world is a big part of the magic. It also means I can stop lying awake at night feeling glum that you aren’t reaching all the people that SO BADLY NEED YOU.
Secondly, for full disclosure, Sammy and I have decided (after some lengthy chats) to team up and work in a more collaborative way. There will be future developments to this but right now, we’re starting simply with a little kick back to each other for referrals. Because as business owners, we all grow, when we.all.grow.
Yes, I will earn a small financial reward if you sign up to Sammy’s services because I sent you there. And vice versa. But I would only ever recommend someone to you that was aligned with this community. Who I thought you could really connect with and who can deliver you results.
Sammy and I both want this to be your best year yet, and for you to take giant strides forward with your mission. This is our way of helping you to change the world. Read on to discover what you need to know about how great web design helps create the recipe for your online success.
What Website Designer Sammy Phillips wants you to know about telling your story through great web design
If you’re reading this blog and you’re the soulful business owner that I know you are, then I already know that your website (or the vision for it), isn’t just a website. It’s a sanctuary, a safe haven, a calming space, a place of nourishment and inspiration. It is anything but just a website.
But in order for that to be the case we need to tell your story and convey that story through thoughtful web design.
In this blog post, I’ll be talking about how great website design helps tell your story and why it’s so important. Not only is it the secret sauce that will set you apart from everyone else, but it will also act as the beacon guiding your visitors into your digital home to create those meaningful connections.
Setting the scene for your business story
All good stories start with setting the scene and this should be applied to your website too.
“Notice that with a single glance at a room, or out a window, you instantaneously see the full detail of everything that’s in front of you. You are effortlessly aware of all the objects that are within the scope of your vision… Look at all the colours, the variations of light, the grain of wood furniture, the architecture of buildings, and the variations of bark and leaves on trees. Notice that you take all this in at once, without having to think about it.”
Michael A. Singer, An Untethered Soul.
Now although Michael A. Singer is talking about human consciousness as pure awareness in this passage (a topic well beyond the scope and depth of this blog post), I couldn’t help but feel that it also perfectly illustrates how a well-designed home page can set the scene for your story.
The mind’s eye captures it in the same way – in its entirety before it starts to notice the individual components.
What does that scene say about you? Is it telling your story? Does it capture the essence of why you do or make what you do? Is it connecting with the right people?
Your website = your recipe for online success
Your website is the one place where you can fully control how you are represented, so we want to use all the elements to shine a light on your story and the very essence of your business.
Each ingredient from images and colours to fonts and words can support how you tell your story and help to communicate the right emotions.
They are essentially the ingredients that bind your online recipe together.
How structure and layout help tell your story on your website
The structure and layout of your website should guide your visitor through your story and entice them to dive deeper into it.
Ensuring that your content is divided into easy to digest sections will help to guide the viewer down the page, whilst inviting your visitor to learn more by providing links through to more detailed pages.
Negative space is just as important as content. There is nothing worse than a cramped web page that feels overwhelming to your visitors and it’s not clear where they go next.
Likewise allowing for adequate space around the different elements of your web page provides space for them to breathe and for your reader to have time to digest and reflect before they move on.
Why imagery is key to your story
It’s true what they say, a picture really does tell a thousand words.
Visual cues are super powerful and can capture a story in a very easy to digest and memorable way. Images are easier to process and remember, so they are a great way to support your storytelling and evoke emotion.
This doesn’t mean you need perfectly on-brand professional photographs to tell your story. Obviously, it’s great if you do have those to help elevate your website, but you can also convey this through carefully selected royalty-free stock photography.
When doing so try and keep consistency in your choice of imagery through the tone, colours and style to help craft your story.
If you sell beautifully nourishing products it is easy to just provide straightforward images of the product itself. While this is important for your customers, as viewing an object online has its limitations, product photography also gives you a huge opportunity to tell the story of that product and get to the heart of your business.
How do your customers use or consume your product? And in what context?
If you really want to tell your story through imagery there is one rule that I always come back to, which is…
“Capture moments, not things.”
Perfectly put by Instagram expert Sarah Tasker, of Me & Orla.
You are of course not just restricted to photos. Videos, illustrations, icons and infographics are all great ways to bring your personality to your website.
How branding and colour support your business story
How branding and colour palettes help to tell your story could literally be a post all by itself. But as I’ve already touched upon, colours and tones are important ingredients in your storytelling.
Colours invoke powerful emotions and work on a subconscious level, so you can use this to support your messaging and unify your website design.
Colour theory can be used as a guide to make sure any associations with those colours support your vision and that they trigger the appropriate emotional response.
How do you want your visitors to feel when they interact with your website? This is a question I ask all my clients because this is what will leave a lasting impression.
Why the words on your website are so important
We consume written content very differently in a digital format than we do in printed or handwritten form. Our attention spans are far shorter and we often scan read first to decide if we want to take the time to dive in deeper.
Use headings, subheadings and different text formats such as bold and italics to highlight the most important aspects of your messaging. These can act as story signposts to guide people through your content and encourage people to keep scrolling as your story unfolds.
I see so many incredible small businesses with powerful missions and inspiring stories, but they are so often tucked away or hidden in lengthy paragraphs. It is not the job of your visitor to uncover those gems. Good website design should surface those nuggets and use them to connect with your audience.
From images, and videos, to content structure and words, there are so many opportunities to utilise all the ingredients of your website to craft your story and make your personality shine through.
- The layout of your website can help to guide your visitors to uncover more of your story
- Use the power of imagery to convey more than you can in words alone
- Colour connects on a subconscious level quicker than any images or words – use this to your advantage through colour theory to ‘set the scene’
- Use headings and formatting to act as story ‘signposts’ and highlight what is most important
I hope you’re feeling all inspired having read this post on how great web design helps to tell your story. After all your website isn’t just a website.