If you’ve been a regular follower of our blog, you would’ve definitely noticed we have been trying to break the ice on all things design! We have written about the choice of fonts and colours in design and expanded on it by giving you some of the best combinations of fonts and colours that can be used for great user experience!
Now that you are on the way to being well-informed about the vagaries of good design and know WHY these choices matter, your immediate concern is likely to be:
- WHEN- When to undertake a specific design related activity is dependent on a multitude of factors, not limited to time or cost. Our article on rebranding, which is one such activity, can help you understand these factors in detail and decide when to take it up.
- WHO- Here’s where there’s a lot of debate, as there are 2 ways to approach this situation! Most companies have internal design/creative teams who are usually involved in design/branding activities. However, there are also specialised external design agencies that can help out in all and any such activities, using their talent and expertise.
In this article, we’ll do our best to help you understand why you should seriously consider using a design agency for all branding and design activities!
First, What is a Design Agency?
In simple words, a design agency is one that offers a variety of design related services to its clients. Most of these services are clubbed into branding- mostly digital, usually for any specific product, app, or website. Design agencies also work on logo design and everything part of it, such as the shape, colours and fonts.
A logo is very carefully designed, as it is like the company’s image. Many times, we are able to identify a company by looking at the logo. This is also added to all the products, the packing and other merchandise of the company, as detailed below:
- If you are selling a physical product, the logo is usually added to the product as well. Almost all items you use daily, such as your phone, headphones, laptops and even your shoes have the company’s logo displayed!
- Items for customers such as shopping bags and product packages for consumer goods. You can see this in almost every business that you shop at! Even small things such as visiting cards (becoming antiquated, but still useful), advertisement pamphlets and coupons are carefully designed.
- Items for use by the company’s employees. These are things such as ID cards, uniforms (in use by some workplaces), notebooks, pens, t-shirts, hoodies, bags and other goodies that are used by companies as perks for employees and also promote themselves externally.
For more insight here, you can have a look at PlayGround’s piece on creative agencies. This article goes into detail on the services provided by such agencies and how you can make use of these agencies.
Second, what can a design agency do for you?
This is one of the most common questions out there, and we hope that you’ll know the answer to this by the end of this article.
There is a lot that a design agency has to offer, mainly through the experience and the expertise of the people part of it. Add to this a dedicated focus towards all things design, and you have the perfect answer for your design problems! Let’s explore these factors in detail.
- Add value to the brand- A company’s brand is the best way for displaying its capability to the world. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of branding done right, as it helps deliver the desired message, connect with the target audience to build loyalty and show its credibility.
An agency does all this for you, and ensures that the branding process adds the right value. This helps make your brand STRONGER. Successful branding also attracts the right kind of talent to join you on your journey!
- Lend design expertise- People associated with a design agency come from diverse backgrounds and have experience working for projects in many challenging domains. So, they bring a different perspective to every project, effectively use their vast knowledge and let the creativity explode! Agencies thus have a good idea of what works and what your competition is currently doing, for you to succeed!
At some point, you might have thought of working with a freelancer. While they might be cost effective, freelancers usually work very independently, under different time zones and usually with multiple clients at once. Agencies have a lot more resources and experience, compared to freelancers. It’s also tough to replace them, whereas the agency will take care of everything.
Remember, the team at an agency is extensive, with each member having a specialised skill and ensuring that all bases are covered. A typical team usually consists of graphic designers, researchers, copywriters, UI/UX designers and marketing experts. You can thus get a chance to work with folks who live and breathe design daily, and leverage that expertise!
- Streamline the design process- As agencies work with many clients, they have clearly defined processes and modes of communication. There is usually one person from the team who will be in constant touch with you throughout the process, and provide you with regular updates.
A streamlined way of doing things means that the best quality of work is done, which is extensively researched, relevant and most effective, keeping in mind the problem statement and the current scenario. So, you know that you are getting the best for your buck!
- Ensure cost and time efficiency- Working with an agency helps you save on the time and cost spent to hire the entire team by yourself. You have more people working on your design needs, who can get things done faster. Compare this to an internal team that often has other priorities, where things can get pushed around quite often and delayed.
The agency works as an extension or wing of your business and can integrate itself into functioning similar to your in-house design team. This seamless integration can even eliminate the need for an internal team! Yes, it’s quite possible! The same criticality and size of work is not present at all times, so you can work on keeping your budget in line by engaging the agency as and when necessary.
Agencies are flexible to your requirements- if you want them to prioritize a specific project of yours or ensure a dedicated SPOC for your business, it’s all possible. You can add or remove people from the project, based on its size and criticality. While initial costs may be high, keep in mind that you have the flexibility to manage it!
Third, why does good website design matter?
Web design has become very popular and critical, especially during the pandemic. With many businesses adopting the digital route, good website design helps to supercharge your business!
Your website says a lot- it defines what you do, highlights your values, lists out your product/service offerings and helps your customers connect with you. Many times, the design and layout of your website’s landing page decides whether a visitor will go forward or decide to move on. People usually look at your logo, the main graphic or image with the explanatory text and the contact information in the footer. They will also see how easy it is to navigate to the other sections.
So, your website’s first impression really matters. Think of it like a job interview, where you go in aiming to crack it with a great first impression and continue that streak. To help you out, here are some facts about why good website design is so important.
- 73% of brands invest in design to differentiate themselves from their competition.
- 94% of all first impressions on a website are design-related.
- 38% of users stop interacting with websites if the content or layout is unpleasant.
- Users decide in 10 seconds or less, if they trust your company, all based on your website’s design. They also take about 0.05 seconds to form their opinion on your site, after its loads. That’s super fast!
- Approximately HALF of potential sales disappear because a user has to work too hard to find the required content.
- Another 40% of that half will never return to the site once they’ve decided that it was just too difficult to navigate.
- 47% of users expect a site to load within a maximum of two seconds. After all, the information must be fast and concise.
- 39% of users will bounce if a site takes too long to display images or content.
While these statistics might be overwhelming, it is not impossible! You can achieve good website design by paying attention to a few aspects:
- Purpose of the website– Define the purpose for creating the website. Agreed, it helps maintain your business’s digital presence, but also look at why you want the website- build your brand, facilitate online sales or provide people an easier way of connecting with you. Once you know the purpose, your website design will follow.
- Site navigation- Ensure that your site is easy to navigate and people are able to get the information they need quickly and easily. Once the first impression is good, users will start looking for other details, such as business activities, customer reviews/testimonials and contact details. If these are easily available, the user will continue!
Studies show that 64% users want to see the company’s contact information on the homepage. It shows that you are available for them. Put in the information that is most important on the landing page and then provide options for them to view more, so that the curiosity continues.
- Effective Design- Your website’s design must be clean and organised, with a defined flow. Go modern but keep it simple. Use a consistent layout to segment your information, a defined and relatable colour palette and a typography that works with the font and is easy to read. Be sure to include images that go with the design theme, showcase your brand and grab attention!
There are certain rules about the website’s layout and placement of the information that have been tested and are known to work. Reinventing on these lines by clients can backfire massively. You can know more about these rules through Orbit Media’s piece on web design standards.
After all, your website should tell the story of your brand. What better way to do it through the look and feel of your site? UX investment is shown to have a 100% ROI, so make that choice!
- Mobile friendly- With mobile phones becoming the more preferred and widely available devices, most websites are viewed on phones. Remember to come up with a design that will work well on mobile and fit in well with the compact screen. Sometimes, having a website for the web and for mobile separately can help.
Remember to pay attention to mobile. This market is projected to grow massively and you can reap benefits by tapping into it early.
- Link between design and content- Your website’s content should work well with the design. The content needs to be crisp, easy to read and answer all potential questions. Users will stop reading, and stop visiting if the content is unappealing. This picture below should give you a clear idea on how to achieve the perfect design-content integration.
Now that you’ve gone through why good website design is crucial, you’ll believe us when we tell you that a design agency will be the best here! A good website is the first step in establishing a successful digital presence and who better to guide you than an agency. We also hope that your question on what a design agency can do for you has been answered in detail! 🙂
Finally, when you’re ready to start the process towards meaningful website design and how agencies can be leveraged, check out Pixels and A Pen! We ask the right questions when it comes to web design, branding, UI/UX and social media and ensure that our solutions work for you! Check out our website to know more and also get a masterclass into website design!