When a visitor lands on your website, the visual design is likely to be the first thing they’ll notice. It’s also usually the thing they’ll remember most. 

75% of consumers reportedly judge a business’s credibility based on its website design. This first impression can make or break a prospective client’s interest in working with you. 

The ultimate goal of your website is to attract and retain as many prospects as possible, and then convert them into clients. But most websites are designed in a way that leaves those goals unfulfilled, failing to reach their full potential. 

With that in mind, your visual identity should be treated as a top priority within the overall design of your website. Believe it or not, this can have a significant influence on the growth and success of your business.

When working on a web design project, you should always go through a careful visual exploration phase to find the right visual identity for your website. 

Whether you’re going through a full company rebrand or just refreshing the style of your website, it’s important to ensure your design is tailored to your specific target audience. This is how you begin to drive business growth through your website. 

Without a visual exploration process, your website may not convey your company’s brand identity and values as clearly as you’d like it to. 

In this article, we’ll outline the steps taken so you’ll know what to expect when working on a website design project. 

What Does the Process Involve?

The purpose of this process is to define the best visual direction to take with your site. 

This is a crucial aspect of your overall design, with aesthetic elements being brought together to create a look and feel that engages your site’s visitors and retains their attention. To achieve that, your visual design needs to establish a connection between your audience and your brand immediately. It should also demonstrate why your visitors should work with you. 

Exploring your visual identity will cover a wide range of elements, including: 

  • Your brand 
  • Your company values
  • Your colour scheme 
  • Your typography
  • Imagery and other visual content
  • Structuring of pages
  • And other visual components that are used to tell your brand’s story across your website’s design. 

What are Mood Boards and How Can You Use them? 

The main tool used to help determine the right visual identity is a set of mood boards. 

These are a visual compilation of all the various elements that make up your website’s visual design. Each mood board is essentially just a single-page collage of design styles based on previous discussions and the findings from the research and planning phase of the process.

The aim of these is to capture your brand’s visual style and tone. This will give the stakeholders, and your designers, a shared understanding of the design you’re working towards. 

Mood-boarding helps you visualise the work on your website’s design before it begins and agree on a design aesthetic that accurately reflects your brand identity and values. 

Think of this like a problem-solving exercise. Your design agency will take a research and data-driven approach to conveying your brand identity, while also catering to your target audience and accommodating the latest industry trends.

Collaboration and Iteration

Like most processes within web design and development, this visual exploration process should be collaborative and iterative. 

You’ll typically be presented with a mood board and a set of ideas by your agency partner, then given the chance to provide feedback across several rounds of revisions. 

Rounds and revisions are always important in any creative process. It’s usually necessary for your agency to develop and present a minimum of three mood boards before the optimum aesthetic is agreed upon. This is a crucial step towards the ultimate goal of creating a new website that accurately reflects your brand and has a positive impact on your target audience. 

Connecting with Your Clients Through Design

Your website’s visual identity is what makes your brand resonate with your target audience. Your design needs to clearly convey the values of your business, the quality of your products and services, and the reason why your visitors would benefit from working with you. 

Working through this visual exploration phase is an important step towards designing a website that will attract more visitors and increase your conversions. 

Once this visual exploration is complete, the next phase of your web design process will be to craft your website’s user experience (UX).

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    Profile picture of Will Newland - Managing Director of SoBold.
    By Will Newland
    Managing Director
    UI Design