It seems like everywhere I turn, a new website goes live. As a fall intern at VisionPoint Marketing, I've learned that strategy should always play a big role in website design and development. Creating a website is not as easy as it may sound. Your site should reflect what you are about, what makes you stand out from your competitors. The design should be clean and clutter free. What some people fail to realize is that the user experience must be the top consideration whenever a new website is created.

When someone visits your site for the first time, that visitor critiques it to see if it is a site they want to give their time and energy to. If the homepage to the site doesn’t catch the viewer’s attention or is not inviting, don’t expect them to come back.

There are so many ways to make a site engaging beyond the normal cookie cutter design. Think outside the box to provide users with a unique experience that keeps them interested in your website. If everyone stuck to cookie cutter design, the term design would be a crime to use because everyone would provide their visitors with the same bland and boring layout as everyone else. Your company is unique. Let that shine through in the design.

When creating a site, it is easy to introduce elements of fun without sacrificing professionalism.  Design should be clean and provide a hierarchy of information. Make the most important elements more prominent than the less important information. Users can quickly become confused and if a page has too many types of content, links, animation or advertisements.  By making the site easy to navigate and easy for users to find what they are looking for, your site’s credibility increases.

Through design and ease of navigation, your website will have a trustworthy feel that people can be comfortable with when they visit. It will also encourage them to stay on your website longer and to come back for repeat visits.