By Cassandra Secord
Having a website for your business or organization is now a necessity. After all, we live in a world where if it doesn’t happen online, then did it really happen at all? Yes, websites have become essential, but how do you even begin to create one?
When it comes to creating your website there is so much to consider: layout, colour, content, even search engine optimization (SEO). But don’t get overwhelmed. The key to a great website is creativity.
So hear me out, I’m not saying to ignore design principles, quality content, or SEO tools. I’m saying that there’s no magic formula for these things and that putting some personality and passion behind them will help.
When I was younger my dad asked me a question.
“Say you’re making good money and buy yourself a two-seat sports car. You come to a stop beside a bus stop and look over to see the love of your life, your best friend, and an elderly woman who is ill and trying to get to the hospital. What do you do?”
Of course, I told him I would give the old lady a ride to the hospital. Surely my best friend and true love would understand. It’s what I thought he wanted to hear- what I thought anyone would want to hear. But his answer was different.
“I would give the keys to my friend, let them drive the woman to the hospital, and sit there and enjoy the time with the love of my life.”
I told him I didn’t know that was an option. He told me he had been thinking outside the box.
Okay, a touching story, but what does it have to do with website design?
Well, I gave my father the answer I thought he wanted, but it was a generic answer, there was no ‘me’ in it. His answer, it gave what everyone wanted, to get the elderly woman to the hospital, but it also was unique to him. His personality shone through in his choice.
This is what designing a website is like. You have to consider what your users want. What layout works for them? What content do they want to see? What are they searching for online? But once you’ve figured all of that out, you need to include a piece of yourself in it too.
So how do you do that? Well there are a lot of ways. ICF offers a short list of simple ways to incorporate your personality, including your about page, your colour choice, and your writing style. Or if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, check out these unexpected ways to add your personality. Error messages, pop-ups, loading pages, the possibilities are endless.
Okay, these are all fun, but don’t forget about your content. Content is king, after all.
First, avoid writing like a robot. No one wants that. Yes, this is professional communication, but you’re still human. Allow your emotions to show through (to an extent, let’s leave the break up drama out of it). And don’t start working on content by dealing with SEO, write first and edit that in later. This article expands on these and other ideas.
Overall, it’s your website, your business, and your personality. So let the you shine through, and your website will shine too.