Website Design Frameworks: From Constrained to Configurable
When it comes to website design, it seems everyone has an opinion. Speed is number one. No, professional photography is more important. No, interactive content is what really engages prospects. Oy! With so much information coming at us, it can be easy to get analysis paralysis, and avoid a website redesign altogether. At G5+LL, we’ve learned a lot over the past 15+ years about what works and what doesn’t and what our customers want when they partner with us. What it really comes down to is balance. The balance between art and science. The balance between aesthetics and performance. The balance between speed to launch and flexibility. Wait, come again?
From Template to Framework
That’s right. When we first set out with building design templates over a decade ago, we made sure to deliver on speed and quality at scale. But, we quickly learned that we also needed to deliver on being flexible. Our website designs had to evolve from constrained (templates) to configurable (frameworks). What we have today are various options that deliver the creative flexibility to show up as a unique brand, while using a framework that gets your websites live fast with high quality.
- Branding – At the most basic level, your brand includes your logo, your colors, your font and certainly your value proposition (what makes you stand out?).
- Layout – This determines where things are located on a page and how much space they take up. This is where our flexibility comes in as the rows and columns that make up a website can be configured best for you.
- Storytelling – Now we layer in photos and content that touts your selling points. Our frameworks include padding and hierarchy that give cues to readers and scanners alike.
G5+LL Best Practices
Our designs are ready for your brand to show off. Your website audience is wanting to learn who you are and what you have to offer. Your photos and content tell the story and our design frameworks ensure the story has room to breathe.
- Technical SEO – This is the underlying foundation of your website and how your code talks directly to Google including schema and sitemaps. This is all part of how Google evaluates your company.
- Speed – An element of Technical SEO but also a true impact to your website audience who don’t have time to wait around.
- Integrations – Answering the top questions your website audience has is the name of the game. Connecting your PMS data with your website does this for you so renters know what you have and how much it costs.
G5+LL Best Practices
Our design frameworks are built on our platform which means it is scalable, secure, reliable, and fast. It also means that the underlying code itself has been tested across browsers, integrations have evolved over years, and the SEO architecture has been proven across thousands of locations.
At the end of the day, frameworks give you the best of both worlds. The flexibility to make your brand come to life at a much lower cost and a much faster timeline. The code itself isn’t brand new which means it has been tested, tried and true.
- Design Patterns – The internet was “invented” in the 1980s but in the past 20 years, we’ve all become accustomed to patterns that make it easy to jump from one website to another and know exactly how to use it. Seems obvious but even horizontal navigation and your logo linking back to your homepage are all examples. Our web components (photo galleries, forms, etc.) use design patterns that make them highly usable.
- Decision-Paralysis – Providing too many options for your audience simply makes it harder for them to choose. This comes into play with website navigation where today’s recommendations are to stick closer to the 5-7 category limit with a few sub-pages. Keeping visitors focused on the content that truly engages and converts them is key without overwhelming them.
- Reading and Scanning – There are multiple ways people take in information from the detail-oriented reader to the fast-paced scanner. Not only organizing your website, but also giving both styles within how your content is written (with a mix of short paragraphs and bullet points), will help bridge across these styles. Navigation helps self-directed audiences, while others enjoy scrolling down and taking in your home page.
G5+LL Best Practices
Our recommended navigation has been thoroughly thought out based on the order that people shop and the clarity of language (no need to include marketing jargon like “Our Signature Touch” as you want to avoid any seconds that delay their understanding). And our writers keep paragraphs singularity focused and short, while including sub-headers and bullet points for our scanners.
Why Templates Are Out and Frameworks Are In
Just ten years ago nearly all websites were designed with just one or two columns for content. It was a large shift when websites needed to easily collapse for mobile devices (and be responsive) and designers finally got the flexibility they dreamed of with content stripes (aka rows). Frameworks deliver unlimited variation by stacking web components on a flexible grid, creating the feeling of custom coding with the speed and quality of a template.
The body of your website is a two-dimensional grid that allows website creators to easily position elements onto a website page, using horizontal and vertical lines to form rows and columns. The grid uses pixels (or fractions) to fix/adjust track sizes, which helps the website page adjust its layout according to the screen size of the device being used, like a phone versus a laptop, plus be responsive to various web browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc., without the hassle of updating your layout code.
Want to Provide a Best-in-Class User Experience?
Website design layout plays a leading role in building responsive, speedy, configurable frameworks. The structure must flow in a natural reading pattern, incorporate a responsive grid for optimal and easy-to-use flexibility, feature concise navigation, and present content in order of importance to the prospect. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to website design. To learn more about G5+LL’s configurable design frameworks and website design options, schedule a demo.
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Thank You for Your Interest
We will be in contact soon and look forward to learning more about you and your company. Based on your marketing challenges, we’ll discuss increasing visibility into your analytics and how to generate more and better leads so you can achieve your marketing goals.
In the meantime, we invite you to check out our checklist on website accessibility. Use this checklist to start assessing the baseline accessibility of your website.
Enjoy! We’ll be in touch very soon.