A dish can be the most delicious tasting food in the world, but if it isn’t visually appealing, we intend to assume it won’t taste good.
Don’t believe us? Imagine your favorite dish, whether it’s a lobster salad, steak, or painstakingly crafted sushi. Visualize it on your plate.
Now imagine that dish tipped into a blender, mixed for 3 seconds, and the resulting mush poured into a bucket. It’s still your favorite dish, but now it looks awful. The presentation is all wrong.
We can apply this simple but somewhat brutal logic to web design. If a website doesn’t look good, people are likely to assume that the business behind it isn’t great. There is a good chance that those potential customers, like the patrons of the Bucket Restaurant, will look elsewhere.
It’s imperative that business websites look the best they can to attract customers. This means more than downloading pretty pictures though. There are many factors to consider. Taking them all into account when designing a website can be what makes or breaks your financial business’s online presence.
Let’s take a look at these factors:
The typography of a website is one of the most overlooked factors, yet it is probably the most important. If fonts are chosen and applied badly, no-one is going to be willing or able to read the content.
When choosing fonts, make sure one is selected for titles and one for the main content. Don’t overcomplicate it by adding more fonts. Two is enough. And they should compliment each other.
Ensure the fonts are easy to read, are compatible with mobile and tablet devices, and reflect the image of your brand. Despite being overlooked, fonts do a lot for your branding.
The overall text layout should look striking yet inviting to read. To help you, we’ve found some great examples of well-chosen font pairings.
The color scheme
A website’s color palette should be chosen carefully. Colors are always associated with a business’s brand.
Think of some of the world’s most well-known brands, such as Coca-Cola. They are instantly recognizable by their brand colors.
When choosing a color scheme, go for two statement colors and two or three background colors at the most. Make sure they all contrast or compliment each other. A color scheme that is jarring to the eye will put customers off immediately. The assumption is that if you haven’t paid enough attention to your branding, you may not be paying enough attention to the way you do business.
Keep your colors consistent. For example, all action buttons should be the same color. Have the same attitude with titles, subtitles, icons, etc. An inconsistent color scheme can be as displeasing to the eye as a badly chosen palette.
Images and pictures
The average user takes 9 seconds to decide if they like the look of a website or not. That’s an extremely tight time frame in which to make an impression. Having images that stand out can quickly help the user to stay and browse a website in more depth.
Images should resonate with the target market and appeal to your most promising or valuable potential customers. Images that are not relevant to the brand or that use tired stereotypes or boring clichés will prompt a user to look elsewhere. How many times have we seen those images of people in suits shaking hands or having a business meeting? There’s no quicker turn-off than choosing to apply this overused stock photography.
Use stock images wisely or, even better, not at all. Original images can go a long way in making a positive impact.
Websites should be easy to navigate, easy to read, and easy to understand. If any of these things is a challenge to the person viewing the website, you are unwittingly encouraging them to stop looking and go elsewhere.
Ensuring each page of the website has a clean layout with well-organized text is as important as the text itself. Having navigation buttons that are clear and concise will help the user to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily.
An often overlooked factor is ensuring the layout looks good on phone and tablets as well as on a desktop computer. Most people now browse on their phones so if the mobile version of a website looks messy then it is eliminating a lot of potential customers.
If information is hard to find, it won’t be found by all your potential customers. People’s attention spans are short and competition is fierce in the financial services industry. It’s important to make sure that all information is easily accessible.
Grammar grammar grammar
No one likes the grammar police, but then no-one likes a website with poor spelling and grammar either. The number of professional websites that contain bad grammar and spelling errors may surprise you.
Spelling or grammatical mistakes interrupt the reading experience and cast doubt on the business. It’s imperative to check the text of your website for mistakes. Then check it again. Then get someone else to check it. Particularly in the financial services industry, demonstrating accuracy and attention to detail are critical.
Icons are a great way to quickly direct a user to a section of text or to encourage them to explore something, such as social media. However, if these are over-used or irrelevant, their impact is weakened dramatically.
Icons should be used sparingly, therefore, and each should be significant. If an icon doesn’t match the text it represents, it shouldn’t be used at all.
Keep icons uniform throughout the website. Check that their size, color, and design match.
By applying the above ideas, we help financial service businesses create appealing websites that are pleasing to the eye.
Gaining customer feedback and professional help can improve your website’s design, which can make all the difference to your lead generation and conversions.