“Websites Shouldn’t Scream, They Should Serve” – This Award-Winning Web Designer Tells Us Why
The Wix Partner Awards spotlight Glasgow-based designer Craig Hausman, who shares his inspiration, advice and the secret to navigating the digital space.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. While this is a statement most often associated with Renaissance art and innovation, it can apply equally well to modern design and marketing.
When considering website design for brands, dynamic and exciting visuals tend to grab our attention. But often, a simple, refined aesthetic that delivers a clear, focused message yields the best results.
Hausman’s design philosophy and company slogan: “clean, simple and sophisticated”
Finding a successful balance can present a dilemma for businesses, especially when it comes to pairing a clear and compelling brand image with a user-friendly experience.
This more refined approach to design also lends itself well to mobile, and with 62% of websites now accessible via mobile devices, it’s best for brands to see less as more and ensure their sites are clear in their messaging, responsive and efficient. well in search engine optimization (SEO).
One web professional who does just that for his clients is Craig Hausman, creative director and founder of Glasgow-based Hausman Graphics. This month, Hausman won the Wix Partner Award for its superior features. We caught up with him to learn more about the kind of design work that helped him earn this accolade.
Clarity in communication
Explaining his approach, Hausman says, “For me, it’s about anything that maximizes the goal of clarity in communication. This is the most important part of web design – communicating the business, the idea, the product, whatever it is. And then, how to achieve it? Through clean lines and a sparse page, for example.
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After building his first website on Wix as part of a college assignment, Hausman started his own design business with these principles at the core. He now relies exclusively on Wix for clients around the world, including a recent project for Tokyo-based walking tour operator Tokyo Localized.
Hausman’s work for Tokyo Localized was honored with a recent Wix Partner Award for Superior Functionality, highlighting his enthusiasm for projects where he’s able to refresh existing websites and show clients the fruits of his labor through an “old” versus “new” revelation. He says, “I love the turnaround time and the customer feedback when they see what they had versus what they have now. It’s really rewarding.
The original Tokyo Localized site was very basic and only ranked on page six of Google for Tokyo walking tours. Hausman’s main challenge was to make the site less crowded. He explains: “There was way too much happening on the site. So I said, ‘we really need to simplify this. We have to do walking tours of them. We need to match what our competitors are doing, but do it better. It all depended on how we presented the information in a very clear and accessible way. »
Hausman made the site visually striking with digestible content framed by white space and a strong brand identity brought to life by a newly designed logo. He accentuated the most important detail of the business, introduced thematic and interactive images, original video and used code to create a database for the tour booking page, all providing a seamless experience for users.
The end result speaks to Hausman’s design philosophy and his company slogan: “clean, simple and sophisticated”. This approach, which helped Tokyo Localized rank #1 on Google for “Tokyo walking tours”, has also been adopted by bigger brands in their web designs. For example, Expedia, another brand advised by Hausman, refreshed its 70 websites and mobile app in 2021. The main goal, according to the online travel agency, was to provide “a clean and simple layout which focused on product functionality for users.
The Principles of Simplicity
Based on his own vision and portfolio of work, which also includes Flockhart Architects and Mersi Solutions, Hausman has clear ideas on how brands and their designers can embrace the principles of simplicity: “There is no not many accessories, not too many animations. Everything is very subtle. The color palette is very understated because usually it’s the pictures that do the talking, so you don’t want any clash. »
Hausman also says that a “good, simple typographic hierarchy” is important to complement the aesthetics of websites. He adds, “There’s nothing about my sites that screams at you. You just want to communicate the core part of the business.
Designers are empowered to take approaches like this by customers who are, in general, better educated and aware of issues such as the importance of mobile responsiveness, loading speeds, and the desire to replace stock images. by vector graphics. This increased sophistication on the brand side stems from the wide availability of resourceful content online, and Hausman expects his agencies and others to see this trend continue for the foreseeable future.
Positive progress on the client side can be reciprocated if agencies get to know the client and their needs in more detail. As Hausman says, “Sure, you want a good wallet, but they want business. That’s what I’ve always tried to keep in mind in my work.
Would you like to learn more and join the Wix Partner Program as an agency, freelancer or designer? So click here.