Designing a corporate website goes beyond catchy color schemes, bright graphic design, and fancy fonts.
There are several functional and aesthetic factors to consider, each vital to the final outcome and overall success.
Don’t obsess over creating the best website in the world (the “Apple of (insert industry)”). Instead, create the best website for your clients. It should serve your customers and stand out from the other 1 billion+ websites online today.
This article shares some essential qualities of an excellent corporate website and tips to build one.
What Are the Qualities of an Excellent Corporate Website?
It Has Clear Navigation
Navigation affects user experience significantly. Clear user navigation will help visitors locate what they need, whereas poor navigation will frustrate them.
Great corporate websites always connect their main pages to an easy-to-spot navigation menu. The menu should make the browsing experience as fast and easy as possible. If users struggle to navigate your website, they're less likely to stick around.
It Has a Functional and Responsive Design
Center your design around the key needs of your website’s core user base and intended audience. It should be quick to load, functional, free of broken links, and responsive to user interaction, no matter the device they’re using.
Your visitors don’t appreciate slow-loading websites, especially when it comes to e-commerce. One online poll revealed that half of all participants abandon their shopping cart if the site takes longer than six seconds to load.
As this article makes clear, design isn't limited to aesthetics. Modern websites demand a responsive design that prioritizes functionality across all devices.
Designing for responsiveness ensures a website can be experienced on any device, screen size, browser, and operating system. This approach allows the PC / Firefox advocate and the Apple Worshiper alike to experience your website as you intended it, so they could have at least one thing to agree on.
Each Page Is Well Structured
Information architecture that is informed by strategy and data makes it easy for visitors to find the most important information on every page.
Excellent corporate websites have structured pages. Does your home page make it simple for visitors to find the information they need most?
A website visitor’s user experience should be seamless. They should be able to get in, find what they need, and get out.
In our fast-paced world, this is beyond essential. Most people are in a hurry — they won’t always have the patience to search for buried information.
It Informs Rather Than Sells
Your customers want information, not a sales pitch.
Give visitors the most helpful information at the start. This demonstrates authority and builds trust. Users may sense desperation if your corporate website pushes a sales offer only seconds after opening your home page.
The best corporate websites are informative. Visitors want to understand your product or service's impact before they buy. The more informative your content, the more likely your website's visitors are to understand and buy your product.
It Contains All Company Information
Your website should make it as easy as possible to access your company's information. Showcase the history, vision, and mission of your company.
Customers should walk away from your website understanding more than your services. They should also understand your personality. This applies for small business websites, too.
Make it easy to find contact information. 64% of web visitors want to see contact information on a company’s website.
Not sure what information to include? If it helps the customer understand your company and access your services, include it.
It Features Customer Reviews
Business-generating websites display the best customer reviews front and center.
A showcase of customer reviews demonstrates confidence. Better yet, it helps clients decide if they want to work with you.
Customer testimonials are word-of-mouth proof that can build your business’s track record. They also boost your online presence and reflect the value of your product or service.
Traditional customer review formats often use a rating scale of one-to-five stars. Use customer success stories as social evidence that produces the same effect.
IBM and Oracle are great examples of corporations that use customer success stories to prove their worth. They share these stories across their website, social media, and email campaigns for maximum impact.
It Shows Product or Service Usage Outcome
A business website should highlight the benefits of using the company's product or service.
Show potential customers the outcome of using your service or product. It helps them visualize the experience of how they can achieve the same result.
You can even use calls to action to direct customers to information that’s most relevant to their needs.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a case study page. It's an excellent way to show customers how your product or service will benefit them. Your website will resonate with more customers if you feature a wide variety of case studies.
9 Recommendations for Designing a Corporate Website
1. Define Your Target Audience and Overall Goal
Do you know your audience?
Consider who your customers are and identify their objectives. Use this information to shape your design and messaging choices when building your website.
No matter the user, there are only two things they want when they visit your website. They either intend to complete a desired action, or they want to search for specific information.
Conducting user experience research, for example, can uncover user pain points. It can also reveal your customers' needs and wants.
Once you truly understand your audience, you can design a website that resonates with your ideal customer. It may also enhance how your website serves your marketing strategy.
It would help to consider your audience's demographics and technology expertise. Do your customers fall within a certain age bracket?
An older target audience may have sensory limitations. That means they may prefer websites with a simple design. Use big, bold elements and sharp color contrasts to help them view and interact with your website.
2. Find Inspiration
Spark your creativity by taking note of the websites that catch your attention.
Knowing what you like (and don't like) can also help in the brainstorming process with the team responsible for designing your website.
But it's even more important to understand what will or will not work for your audience.
If you’re unsure where to begin, check out the many websites dedicated to the absolute best in web design. For example, the expert creatives at Awwwards maintain a "Site of the Day" list to showcase the most creative and user-friendly website designs.
You can discover fresh ideas for your site’s typography and color scheme at Behance and Siteinspire. Use their search filters to uncover the styles and subject matter that are most relevant to your industry.
Take a look at bestwebsite.gallery's polished design curation and practical user experience. This aptly named gallery shows you more than just a site’s landing page — they provide screenshots of the inner pages, too. You’ll get a quick but thorough overview for every featured website’s design and feel.
There is no limit to the inspiration available online. Be imaginative, but don’t get so carried away that you neglect the needs of your target audience.
3. Choose the Best Web Design Agency to Create Your Vision
Your design vision matters.
What also matters is the web design agency you choose to build your platform.
Evaluate the competence and experience of each design agency you want to consider. These agencies should have a demonstrated track record of excellent corporate web design. Do your research and create a shortlist of the agencies you think can fulfill your vision.
Next, schedule a meeting with each agency to learn about their unique approach, technologies they are familiar with, and levels of investment. Take your time with the vetting process, ask relevant questions that get to the heart of the agency's approach; What do you need them to achieve? What issues do you want to avoid? Have you been burned in the past?
Only move forward once you are confident and comfortable with your partner of choice.
It’s standard practice to ask your potential design partner for work samples and client reviews. More often than not, their past clients and projects will tell you everything you need to know.
You want to work with people who listen to your needs and take feedback on the chin. Don't hire people-pleasers who lack creative vision.
4. Identify the Important Pages and Their Goals
Every corporate website has one or more high-traffic web pages. Because users visit these pages the most, the goal of these pages should be clear, evident, and backed by research and data.
Your best-selling product’s product page might see more traffic than anywhere else on your site. Know what product information they need and make sure you deliver it.
Use a content management system to organize and track your pages. This will help both your search engine optimization and digital marketing efforts.
Every web page has a goal, and it should either inform, engage, or convert the visitor. A page can do all three, but not equally. For example, an FAQ’s primary purpose is to inform. By contrast, you want your blog articles to engage and showcase confidence.
Design each page so that it achieves its unique, primary goal. This focused approach should reduce the number of elements on a single page and lower the cognitive load.
Retail websites with a high cognitive load record higher bounce rates than those with a low cognitive load. Your visitors can read and follow through on information if the cognitive load is minimal.
5. Develop Content for Each Page
This step is critical and should be completed before the design process starts. No matter what, the content on each page must align with the page’s goals.
The length of content impacts the type of design elements your page should use. Try to use short sentences to share information. Once again, it reduces the page's cognitive load and frees up space for design elements.
Pages that contain fewer words are less engaging. The same goes for pages that have more words than design elements. Balance design elements and content as much as possible.
You can always combine text, image, and video content to share information. Text content can improve your website's SEO ranking more than an image, but you can use images and videos to make information easy to read and downloadable.
A professional copywriter should handle your website’s content writing. Your chosen web design agency should be capable of providing this service.
Be sure to check your content for brand tone and messaging consistency before you approve it. Savvy customers can identify poorly written content that fits awkwardly within your brand.
Your corporate website should feel professional on all fronts — even those that are easy to overlook.
6. Create a Design Style Consistent with Your Brand
To avoid inconsistency, you want your website to incorporate both your online and offline brand style.
If your company has well-articulated design and brand guidelines, apply them to your website. If not, work with a design firm to establish these guidelines with you before proceeding to design a new website.
Your chosen web design firm should be able to provide this service. At Anyday®, every website we design comes with a 20+ page design system that calls out all the rules your website will need as it continues to grow, scale, and change.
7. Make Each Page Responsive
Your audience is far more likely to access your site from a mobile device than from a desktop. Today, mobile users make up more than half of all website traffic worldwide.
That’s why your site needs a responsive design. When a website is responsive, it automatically adjusts its dimensions to accommodate the user’s needs based on their device or viewport. Your site should look just as good—and be just as usable—on mobile as it is on a desktop.
Responsive design comes down to three key elements: flexible visual elements, adaptive grid layouts, and media queries.
Flexible Visual Elements
Your website’s header image may look elegant from the horizontal orientation of a desktop website browser. But if it can’t scale to fit the screen resolution and vertical display of a mobile browser, it’s not a responsive design.
Flexible visual elements are the solution. Also known as adaptive images, they have no fixed display size or restrictions—and can automatically resize to fit the user’s display. Adaptive images should also be high-resolution enough to render well, regardless of the viewport size.
You can read a step-by-step guide to creating flexible visual elements here.
Adaptive Grid Layouts
In general, a grid layout refers to how a website structures and arranges its layout elements (columns, gutters, margins) across the width of a page.
Fixed grid layouts are limited by static measurements that do not respond to the size of the user’s screen. By contrast, adaptive grid layouts use relative measurements that rescale to fit different viewports without affecting the layout’s proportions.
Use an adaptive grid layout to ensure your website looks clean and proportionate—and remains easy to navigate—from any browser or device.
For those who want to learn more about grid layout best practices, this guide will help you get started.
Media queries use cascading style sheets (a template that defines the style of a web page or page element) to render content according to the user’s viewport and related settings.
Whereas adaptive grids can rescale a page’s overall layout, media queries can modify the appearance of text, images, embedded video, and more to fit the available room on the user’s screen.
Media queries apply different style settings that adapt a website’s appearance according to the characteristics of the user’s device and browser. By using media queries, your website will automatically adjust its appearance to look great on any viewport, device orientation, screen resolution, or browser type.
8. Perform Usability Test and Review Feedback
Usability testing and feedback is critical to the success of any website project.
On the agency side, this process is carried out by design leads, dev leads, QA specialists, and project managers. On the client side, this is usually handled by the primary points of contact.
The web design team usually provides a communication platform for sharing feedback. Or you can suggest a feedback platform you're already comfortable using.
Visual feedback tools like BugHerd and marker.io are designed to help development teams and clients find and report issues during development. They also allow users to track the reported issue until it is resolved.
The testing and review process should cover usability, responsiveness, accessibility, and function. Every website component should be reviewed and accepted before the project is launched.
9. Launch Your Website
Active web development ends when the website is launched. The web design team handles the deployment of the website. Afterward, the website details are transferred to your team.
5 Corporate Website Designs to Inspire You
These 5 websites were selected for possessing most of the qualities of an excellent corporate website mentioned above. You should review them from a user standpoint to reach your own decision.
Calendly is a schedule management software for everyone. The company's corporate website is user-friendly and straight to the point. It has a familiar layout, but it is still pleasing to the eye.
You can open a Calendly account, view product offerings, or learn about the company from the home navigation header bar.
Calendly's use of whitespace is beautiful. The website makes successful use of an information hierarchy on every page.
Moving through the homepage, you will notice their strategic use of text and image content to communicate the product's features and benefits.
Anyday's website excels at sharing the company vision from the homepage. You don't need to scroll past the hero section to learn what we do.
The design elements on the website are geometrically balanced. There is a healthy use of website space and graphical content.
The website has a navigation bar to help visitors browse pages with ease. To make information stand out, it also uses bold letters and a high-contrast color scheme.
Nearly everyone at Anyday® agrees that youareinstrumental.com has a captivating interface. Its skillful blend of colors gives the website a warm feel that’s suitable for their target audience.
Instrumental developed their design approach after conducting thorough user research. Their fonts, CTA buttons, and graphic design are audience-age appropriate.
Instrumental was designed and built by Anyday®.
Adobe pulls off a sleek, colorful, and informative presentation of its products on the company website.
The homepage serves as a navigation page for the company's product offerings. Each product tile gives visitors enough information to know the product's benefit.
Like Anyday®, Adobe's corporate website uses whitespace to their benefit. The beauty of their web design vision can also be found in the geometric balance of their design elements.
5. Subject Matter (Sinai Health)
Subjectmatter.ca is the corporate website of Subject Matter Lab. This research company, founded by Sinai Health, focuses on mental illness, chronic pain, and opioid use.
By contemporary design standards, is modern, functional, and user-friendly. Visitors can see the Subject Matter's mission on the homepage. This is an effective way to share the statement of purpose and align the visitor's expectations.
The website's dominant colors, blue and white, are used creatively to ensure an aesthetic balance. Subject Matter uses bold design elements, large letters, and whitespaces. This makes it easier for customers to find information.
Think of your corporate website as the digital storefront of your business – it should make a great first impression on your ideal audience and help them find what they need, without getting lost.
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