A-Z of Growing Your Business Online – Design


This month I’m taking the alphabet and giving you tips from each letter on how to grow your business online. Today’s letter is D for Design.

Design is important.

The problem with design is often people pay attention to the wrong parts of design.

Be Unique

The first thing I recommend is not using a free theme. There is often a reason why they are free. They are really generic, and millions of other websites also have the same design as you. Sure, by buying a theme, you are also sharing that layout with others, but statistically lower amount of people.

There is another reason to be unique as well. I’ll be covering that below.

Focus on Function, Not Flash

The other reason you want your website to be unique is because your viewers are unique. You want your website to cater to your audience. Good design makes it easy for your audience to do what they want to do on your site.

With design, it shouldn’t be about the sliding images and making it just a touch darker green.

Make It Obvious What You Want Your Viewers To Do

Function is two-fold. You want your viewers to find the information they are after easily, or perform the action that they want quickly. But it is also about what you want your audience to do. Do you want your viewers to click in a specific place, or sign up for your mailing list? Do you want more likes and followers on your social media, perhaps, or get more sales? What ever you want your audience to do, you must direct them. Neil Patel on QuickSprout has a great post about how to direct your audience in his article, “Design is Marketing“.

Design Is Important

Design can make a noticeable difference in your business. By directing your customers to what you want to do, it is more likely the action you want to happen will take place. So test your design. Maybe a the difference is a red button over a blue one. But don’t tinker for tinkering sake.

Let me know in the comments below how your design has helped your business. For instance, by adding an opt-in form to my front page, my opt-in rate has increased significantly.

No Comments

Jan Koch

Hi Carlie,

this point is especially important for you as a webdesigner.

I’ve experienced many clients who wanted sketchy designs, colors that didn’t look good together, ugly fonts and so much more decisions a non-professional simply can’t make understand.

That’s the challenge for webdesigners to explain design decisions to the customers and guide them towards the right design.

Your blog shows, that you’re really good at design and I’m sure that’s a reason why your clients love working with you!


Carlie Hamilton

Colours can be important, to be sure. Companies have spent lots of money researching colour. So colour and colour theory is important. But it is frustrating the amount of time and importance some small businesses place on these kinds of things, when the priority should first be, in my opinion, should be on the user experience.

After all, I’ve visited some awful and ugly websites, but they served their function – I could find the menu, or the address, or the piece of information I was looking for. But, I have also visited beautiful websites that don’t tell me anything about what the business is actually about. I move on to another business if that is the case.


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