Graphic Designers Aren’t Web Designers

Graphic DesignersMore and more often, I’m seeing graphic designers getting on the web design band wagon. These things happen when work slows down for them and suddenly they become a jack of all trades.

From the outside getting your business cards and then website designed by the same person makes sense. That’s unless you know a bit about web design and what makes a successful website.

Let me ask you, do you think Sam Morgan the founder of TradeMe, got the graphic designer down the road who makes business cards design his web site? Hell no! What about the bloke who started Facebook? In fact you’d be really hard pushed to find a graphic designer who can design cards, flyers, vehicle signage, signs AND websites.

Do these people exist? Sure they do, but they’re few and far between.

The fact is a successful website goes beyond a pretty picture. It needs to…

  • Be user friendly and easy to navigate
  • Conform to international usability best practices
  • Simple and clear
  • Designed to not only communicate your brand but also generate inquiries
  • Load quickly
  • Be optimised to rank well on Google and other search engines
  • Simple to update and improve

Simple things matter. Like having a footer navigation, a logo that links to the home page, avoiding dark backgrounds because legibility drops.

A really basic one is having text in columns that don’t span an entire web page. Graphic designers for the most part don’t know this stuff. But professional web designers do.

Why is this important? Results. Odds are you’ll never sell to a silent customer. People will come to your site (if they can find it: a big if) and then leave as fast as they came. A waste of time for them, and a waste of money for you.

If you’re getting your car fixed use an auto mechanic not a petrol pump attendant, and when your building a website use a web designer.

“Quality costs less” W. Edwards Deming