Website Design with Flair: Make-or-Break a Business
As is the case with any business industry, demand dictates hiring trends. And in the field of web design, the demand for talent has more than doubled in the last year. This is a new golden era. The need for quality web designers is increasing because firms that have elegant, intuitively styled websites are being catapulted to the front of the pack. And in the competitive and crowded online mass of websites, if your site does not stand out, then you might as well close your virtual doors.
Companies are recognizing just how important website design is.
Among first thing 500 or so people that visit your site, the biggest thing that can impact them is your site design. Recent business phenomena have shown that a great web design can make-or-break a business. If you have the right website design, you can acquire the audience you need.
Web designers enjoy a boom in business.
Firms that help connect quality designers with companies that are seeking their skills are enjoying boom times. San Francisco-based 99designs, for example, raised $35 million last year in funding and has more than doubled its staff since then. The site now does $1.5 million a month in transactions, which is twice the volume it had a year ago.
Demand for design is only increasing.
A recent survey of design salaries conducted by AIGA/Aquent Survey of Design Salaries found that online designers command significant premiums over their print-focused peers. Those with specialized skill sets that are drawing huge growth in today's competitive Internet economy now draw a median salary of $85,000. The strengths in highest demand among brands seeking qualified web designers include information architects and user-experience designers.
Web designers among most important corporate employees.
Successful firms are recognizing that successful designers are among their most valuable of assets. Apple's peak designer, Jonathan Ive, is widely regarded as one of the mega company's most powerful executives. In its IPO filing, Facebook recognized the two types of personnel it considers strategically critical: software engineers and product designers.
The magical design that works.
Either your website design "works" or it doesn't. Either it attracts business or it falls flat. Aesthetics and expertise in web design can make-or-break the success of a company.
Recent examples of companies that have enjoyed business prosperity after a major design overhaul include Mint.com and Pinterest. After Mint.com launched their new intuitive and elegant style, the personal finance website skyrocketed the to the front of the pack. Two years later, Intuit purchased Mint for $170 million.
Pinterest, a social media startup that caters to the mostly female group of scrap booking enthusiasts, has recently launched a new website design layout and due to that successful design, the company has been referred to as "the" social media with flash popularity. It offers scrap bookers an avenue to plan weddings, save recipes, and post ideas for kitchen renovations. Indeed, Pinterest has seen a huge spike in popularity. Once Pinterest began growing, it didn't stop. Since inception, the site has added an estimated 40% to 50% more subscribers each month.
What type of web design does your company need?
- Elegant and whimsical
- Stylish and clean
- Simple and easy
- Illustrative characters with personality
- Fresh and fast
What does the small business owner do when in need of a website design to propel a business?
One word. Themes.
Popular content management systems, Joomla and WordPress, are compatible with themes that can be purchased from third parties. The most popular and successful theme companies on the web include Yootheme.com and Rockettheme.com. Both firms offer a vast selection of professionally designed themes that can be implemented into a web design within a matter of hours, or days, depending on the complexity of your website. And for the small business owner, these themes can save a business owner a bucket load of cash and keep the design budget in-tact. Most website hosting companies offer wordpress hosting and joomla hosting that is included with their plans.
What if I need more than a theme? I want a custom design.
An invitation-only site where web designers can show off their site and exchange tips, Dribbble, has become a recruiting mecca. There are over 25,000 designers on Dribble, with more than 60,000 in the queue still waiting to be accepted. The company's co-founder, Dan Cederholm, says they are "backlogged". The site launched three years ago and has enjoyed significant growth in a high-demand industry. Dripple is a fantastic resource to discover designers, see their work, and easily weed-out the amateurs.
Design and the demand for web designers has changed.
In the past, a web designer's salary could be categorized somewhere between what an engineer would get paid and what the receptionist would get paid. There was no clear definition of what a designer should be paid. It was definitely a tier below in terms of salary and, for example, high-level decisions. That has changed and web designers are enjoying a second Internet boom called the golden era of web design as companies are seeing the success of their business grow with the launch of a fresh website design.