If your business doesn’t have a website, or if you have an existing website that needs a new design, you’ve come to the right place. Lieder Digital has been designing websites for a decade and a half. The foundation of any marketing materials, be that a brochure, business cards, or a website, are all the same: you need a good design that is pleasing to the eye, communicates the message well, and is memorable.
When Ron Stauffer started his first company, he originally called it “four by five photo and design,” due to his intentions of providing design services across a variety of mediums. After taking several photography classes in college, he was particularly inspired by the large format “view cameras” that used four inch by five inch film. After just a year or two, though, it was apparent that he had little passion for print materials and decided to focus exclusively on digital media. But the lessons learned from studying photography and having a brief stint providing print materials to clients was extremely valuable. It taught him the basics of creating engaging designs that look good, don’t waste space, and leave the viewer with a clear sense of “I understand what this company does.”
Your company’s website is a crucial sales tool, and the way it’s designed will have a huge impact on how people perceive your brand and your business. Like it or not, your potential clients will judge you your business based on how it looks. Think about people who are looking for a new job: don’t we tell job seekers to dress nicely, brush their hair, and make themselves look as presentable and professional as possible when they go in for an interview? It’s important for someone who wants a job at a company to show the best version of themselves to the hiring manager so he or she can say: “this is exactly the right kind of person we want working here.”
In the same way, when a user visits your website, they’re essentially acting as a hiring manager. They’re looking at you, and wondering if you’re the kind of company they want to hire! A serious business will recognize that their website is the public face of their company, and their best opportunity to dress nicely and make themselves look good.
Don’t forget that you only have one chance to make a first impression. Having a well-designed website can mean the difference between a potential customer looking at your company online and saying “Ehh… maybe they can help me,” or “Wow! This is exactly the company I’ve been looking for!”
We offer website design that focuses intently on making your brand look good, ensure you’re taken seriously, but without being glitzy and flashy. Lieder Digital has a design philosophy that incorporates a few design-specific values, including the following:
Simplicity: many, many websites on the internet are far too busy, too crowded, have too many words, too many photos, and too many distractions. We refuse to do this. We design websites with a simple approach in mind that brings clarity to the message, and doesn’t allow obnoxious crap like pop-ups, rotating banners, spinning graphics, cookie notices, and newsletter signup forms you didn’t ask for. Ugh. We don’t do this. We like clean, symmetrical designs that aren’t showy, that instead try to encourage users to say “Wow, I have got to contact this company,” not “Wow, what a pretty design.” It works: we have loads of statistics to prove it. We don’t even argue about it: if a company wants a crazy-complicated design with glitter, insane parallax scrolling effects, or color palettes that look like a box of crayons, we’re not the right company for that and we won’t even pretend to be. There are plenty of other design houses that spend way too much time focusing on making websites pretty at the expense of measurable KPIs like click-through rates, conversions, and phone calls. We’re not into it.
Clarity: the purpose of a website is to communicate a message. Some companies design websites that try to encapsulate far too much. By promising everything and talking about far more things than any one customer is interested in, you obfuscate a brand’s purpose and make it too easy for a user to say “Uhh, I can’t exactly figure out what they offer,” which is horrible for your business because it usually means that user will leave your website and go to a different one. If a website visitor can’t figure out, in about five seconds, who you are, what you do, and why they should care, they’re simply going to hit the “back” button” and leave. That’s why we focus on clarity. Sometimes it means our clients send us 1,400-word articles and ask “Can you put this on the homepage?” and we tell them “no.” (Of course, we’re polite when we do this). But, really, unless you’re on a website reading something similar to what’s on this very page you’re reading right now, most of the time, companies can tend to get verbose when speaking about themselves. We help with that. By boiling things down to their basic essence, we’re able to convey what a company does, and (hopefully) convince website visitors that the company does it will enough to warrant a phone call or submitting a “contact us” form.
Truthfulness: we try really, really hard to prevent clients from using stock photography. Why? Because they’re not particularly truthful. If a potential client is visiting your website, they want to learn more about you and your business. Not just any old business. We’re big advocates for sharing real photos of a company’s office, factory, products, vehicles, and more. We almost always prefer using lower-quality photos that accurately portray a business than high-quality photos that don’t. That’s also part of why we try really hard to get people to showcase pictures of themselves on their websites. Pictures that are accurate, and recent. Many years ago, we once got a request from a financial advisor to upload a headshot of himself to his website. We refused. Why? The picture was so outdated it was bordering on being dishonest. If you’re a 50-year old man who is nearly bald and has become a bit (ahem) “hefty” over the years, why on earth would you post a picture of yourself from ten years ago when you still had hair and looked a lot skinnier? Here’s the cold, hard truth: if you have a business where your clients come in to meet with you, they’re going to see what you look like eventually anyway. You might as well show them an accurate representation now before they come in. Otherwise, the first thing they’ll think once they’re in your office is “Wow, he sure has aged! That photo online is really old!” Especially in an industry like financial planning, people demand and expect honesty. Your reputation is built, partially, on how truthful people perceive you to be. When we design websites, there are some things we simply won’t post, and there are some things we simply won’t remove with Photoshop®, because it wouldn’t be ethical to do so.
Hopefully, this all makes sense to you and we’re betting that a lot of people will find our design philosophy refreshing. If not, we know you have plenty of options to choose from. We’re not going to try to convince you to use our website design services. …well, other than just trying to explain how we do it here and hoping it resonates with you.
Need Help With Your Website?
Contact us for a free assessment of your existing website and a no-obligation proposal for a better one. Or fill out our questionnaire to help determine what your business goals are. This will go a long way in making sure that your website actually does what you want it to.