When you are managing a salon or spa, it's hard to put yourself in a customer's shoes.
Think about the businesses you support: the stores where you buy your makeup, the restaurants you visit. Do they have easy-to-use websites where you can make a reservation or order their newest palette? Do they share drool-worthy pictures of pasta specials or great brow tutorials on Facebook? They probably do. A recent study reported that visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content and that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. This means that every day your clients are being drawn in by graphic design. Is your business getting their attention?
If you answered no, we get it. You’re managing a business, working with clients, and juggling your personal life; graphic design is probably not high on your priorities list. That’s why we’ve asked three graphic design experts to create a guide for salon and spa owners to show you quick tips to improve your logo, website, and print materials. In the first part of our series, we discussed best practices for logo design. In the second part of this series, we're covering website design.
Meet The Experts
Artist Name: Diana Weisman
City: New York, NY
Job Title/Company: Manager of Multimedia Design, Condé Nast Media
She Has Worked With: InStyle Magazine, People StyleWatch Magazine, DePasuale Salon and Spa Company
Learn More: DianaWeisman.com
Artist Name: Leo Martinez
City: Troy, NY
Job Title/Company: Visual Communications Designer and Digital Marketer, Outspoken Media
He Has Worked With: Maxscholar, Nannies Web Series
Learn More: ThatLeoMartinez.com
Artist Name: Danielle Orlhac-De Biasio
City: Northern New Jersey/New York, NY
Job Title/Company: Art Director and Owner, Designs Creatifs Inc
She Has Worked With: Clinique, Calvin Klein, Bisnow
Learn More: DDeBiasio.com
The Expert Advice On Website Design For A Salon Or Spa
What mistake do you see businesses make with their websites?
Diana: A huge problem I see with many websites: too much text and too many colors! Today, most potential customers will access your site on their smartphone, meaning they don’t want to read too many descriptions and want the main information up front (ie: hours, phone number, and top level pricing.) When there is so much to look at, everything loses its importance. It’s best to stick to three colors max, a main color and two accent colors, and use that throughout.
Leo: Offering bad user experience. Nowadays, people will turn first to the Internet before visiting a business and they are probably doing it from their mobile phone. People expect to find a site that loads easily on their mobile device, that has real photos of the place, has detailed and up-to-date information about services, and offers different ways to contact the business.
Danielle: Hiring inexperienced or cheap developers to save money. This money saving measure often causes problems down the line. Unlike design, a developer can hide their skills. Unless you are a developer yourself it’s difficult to check up on the quality of the development teams work and capabilities until after it’s too late and you have problems with your website.
What are some website design "no-nos?"
Diana: See above!
Leo: Don’t overuse stock photos and don't forget about your site! Having an outdated or broken website will ultimately hurt your business. If customers see that the content on your site is old (ie. specials from May of 2015) or broken, they will go somewhere else because they can't trust the legitimacy of the business or can't find the best way to reach you.
Danielle: Don’t cut corners when building your website. Cutting corners can lead to a site that won’t be maintainable, is at a higher risk of being hacked, isn’t taking SEO into consideration, often has pieces that ‘break’ / don’t work properly, and won’t have as much longevity. Website design and development is expensive so it’s important to build a site based on your company’s budget (plus there are tons of great website building options for those with a low budget.)
What are some website design "musts?"
Diana: Separating your website into different sections and not putting everything on the homepage. You also want to link to social media accounts.
Leo: I have a bunch:
Danielle: Work with a reputable company that is willing to help show you different options based on your budget. A big budget means you can have a completely custom site. For a mid-sized budget, you may want to consider a modified custom site by customizing a Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal template. When your budget is very small, check out sites like Squarespace or Wix, which will walk you through using their software to create a site on your own. All of these approaches can provide you with a great website, but don’t forget to think about what happens after your website is built. Someone will need to maintain your site, and depending on how your site is built, it is an added cost that is sometimes overlooked.
What are your favorite resources for designing websites?
Diana: Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace
Leo: Consider reviewing sites like Wix.com or Squarespace.com and some of the examples they offer. Also, find a web designer or consultant that can guide you in the right direction. For inspiration, I would visit sites like webdesign-inspiration.com or siteinspire.com and filter by category.
Danielle: Pinterest, Behance, and the Webby Awards
Have questions for our experts? Drop them in the comments below! Want to learn more about graphic design? Stay tuned for our next Salon Or Spa Owner's Guide- Print Design.
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Michelle Campbell is the Content Marketing Specialist for MiladyPro.
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