Unlike many recreational or personal websites, corporate websites are created for the specific purpose of promoting and branding a company and its products or services. Corporate web design has become as much a part of marketing and communications as a corporation’s ads, media releases, and other promotional material. Some of the most important components of corporate web design are clear content, effective branding, and an easy-to-navigate layout.
Although features such as slick graphics and Flash™ animation can serve to impress visitors, the most important feature of any company website is clear and accessible content. Corporate web design that focuses on the aesthetics of the site but neglects to ensure the presence and clarity of fundamental company information is ultimately ineffective. The copy or text on a corporate site should be clear, concise, and free of corporate jargon and cliches, such as “synergistic,” “impactful,” and “think outside the box.” Website visitors should be able to easily access information that will give them a clear overview of the company. This information is typically organized into such sections as: Welcome, About Us, Mission Statement, Contact Us, and Media.
Branding is another important component to corporate web design. The company’s logo, corporate colors, and even corporate font should all be used consistently within the company website to ensure that the visitors are able to associate them with the company. A company that wishes to brand itself as a high-tech, cutting-edge corporation might choose such features as a Flash™ intro and streaming video and audio, while a company that wants to brand itself as warm and friendly might choose to feature photos of smiling faces and employees helping clients. However a company wishes to brands itself, it can do so through corporate web design by using a combination of the right graphics, colors, and copy.
Corporate web design that doesn’t make room for a high level of site functionality risks losing visitors who might become frustrated with the site and leave prematurely. Websites that take a long time to load, contain broken links and script errors, and are difficult to navigate all reflect badly on the corporation as a whole. A company website’s layout should feature clearly-labeled menus and sidebars as well as lots of buttons to help visitors navigate back to the main pages. Websites that contain a high volume of content organized into several different pages should include a site map to help simplify the visitor’s overall site experience.