As a luxury brand, your website is an essential aspect of who you are. You’re not just selling a product or service when you label yourself ‘luxury’, you’re selling a lifestyle and an image that you must live up to. If your website is poorly designed, you certainly won’t be doing that!
Unfortunately, a lot of luxury brands fall down on certain aspects of their websites – particularly when it comes to user experience. Design and function must be seamlessly integrated to ensure you portray the right image and maximise sales.
We at Twenty One Twelve know a thing or two about luxury websites and where they can go wrong. Here’s our advice on what works and what should be scrapped straight away.
A whole lot of consumers these days shop and browse from their mobile phones and tablets, meaning your site needs to be optimised to suit this. If it isn’t, you’re going to appear very out-of-touch with the digital world! It’ll also deter potential sales from phone browsers as your site will be far too difficult to navigate, which you definitely don’t want.
A lot of luxury brands like to add videos on their websites, particularly on their splash page. This is all well and good as long as they’re not intrusive. If your videos fill up the user’s screen and are hard to navigate away from, it’s incredibly irritating and customers may even not continue to your actual content, which isn’t ideal! By all means include video media, but make sure users can easily not watch it if they don’t want to.
Along the same lines, we would advise against having automatically playing sound as it can be annoying for users in a quiet or public place. Keep things muted but have a volume button in clear view.
Whilst you may want to stand out and present your website in a unique manner, remember its main purpose is to allow users to browse through your content easily. Don’t pick a layout and navigational system that’ll leave them completely baffled! You can use the design of your site to add that individual touch to represent your brand but keep the main foundations simple.
Readability Comes First
Along the same lines as navigation, great design is useless with poor readability. People just won’t bother if it’s too hard! Make sure your site’s content is easy to read, so don’t pick clashing colours or have too many flashy add-ons that get in the way of the actual information. Consider practical design choices and steer clear of those that are just going to be a hindrance.
Consider Load Times
With a lot of animations, images and all that great stuff you probably want to include, your load times could suffer. It’s well known that users don’t like to wait for slow websites, so this could really put potential customers off! Keep tabs on file sizes and how much you’re putting on your pages whilst constantly checking load speeds. If things are slowing down, reconsider how much you have on your pages or reduce file sizes.
At Twenty One Twelve, we know what we’re doing when it comes to luxury websites. We create sites that are user friendly and represent the unique identity of your brand whilst keeping that all important luxury appearance.
If you think your website could be in need of a reboot – or perhaps doesn’t even exist at all! – drop us an email and find out more about what we can do for you.