No product or service ever warrants a boring website.
Think about it like TV advertisements. A well-designed ad, with stunning visuals and a meaningful storyline, can bring the British public to tears over insurance, breakfast cereal or cleaning products. There is immense power in visuals. So, for the millions of websites failing to combine functionality with flavour, and asking what to include on a website, we say this: brand identity through great visuals.
Designing a top-spec website isn’t something you can do with a bog-standard website builder. If you’re really committed to growing your audience, you’ll need to take things up a notch. You’ll look to artistic professionals to provide you with the vast array of multi-media features of a good website. It’s an investment, sure. But in the Instagram Age, where beautiful images dictate much of the vast economy of mobile search, getting the artistic pros on your side is hugely beneficial.
What to Include on a Website
All websites are different, but the great ones recognise the value of a few crucial features.
It’s pretty easy to source images for your website, but the line is wafer thin between those which look professional and enticing, and those which fall totally flat.
When it comes to your studio, staff, products or services, a professional photographer is always better for creating the visual features of a good website – far more so than a friend with a new DSLR. At Studio Illicit, we work with some hugely talented photographers, such as South-West-based, Matt Austin, as well as our in-house photographer and web-developer Kevin Ryser. In addition to capturing the subject, their skill and training give them the tools to create sets of images which evoke the real tone of the brand.
A good photographer takes time to plan shots, direct the shoot, and uses lighting to best effect, leaving you with a bank of great quality images to keep you going for years to come.
Now, more than ever, film is a key feature to great modern website design – one that is proactive and modern in its approach to customers. A well made film can show not only the product or service in depth, but will use digital mastery and storytelling to bring the company to the forefront.
From moving home screens to embedded YouTube or Vimeo videos, if you are featuring film on your website, it should be modern, atmospheric and persuasive.
We’ve worked with multiple film companies on unique, creative films which fit a company’s brand, showcasing its people and the way they work. Sharp Films, based right here in Foundry 17, and Foxwell Films each work methodically to lead you through the preproduction process, the shoot itself, and keeping you up-to-date as they work their magic in the edit. From our experience, these companies are great listeners, and combine their own expertise with what you want to get out of a shoot.
Some of the best visual websites use custom illustration – it can inject life into an otherwise flat design and enhance the overall look and feel of a site. Striking and functional iconography, infographics along with other awesome supporting graphics can seriously elevate your web design. At Foundry 17, we work alongside the incredibly talented Tommy Parker and Adrian Stone who undertake a host of amazing projects, some of which you can see here and here.
Visuals are the way forward
It’s no wonder that video is increasingly dominating online marketing. Stunning visuals are becoming accepted as the norm on social media, and as such, company websites must keep up the visual quality if they are to seem relevant and exciting.
An incredible set of visuals is not just one of the features of a good website. It is, we would argue, the most important feature.