Website design: set the stage for your brand's story

On Broadway and in Hollywood, the true nature of a story emerges on carefully constructed sets. Lighting and artfully engineered backdrops create atmosphere. The subtle scoring that underlies each scene establishes mood. Actors’ actions and reactions, tone and costume, reveal motivations and morals.

By the end of a powerful show, the audience has aligned themselves with the story; they’ve become a part of it. Newly converted advocates go home to tell their family and friends that if they are only going to watch one performance this year, choose this one.

Writing the script for your brand’s story

Your company website should do more than list your services and products. It should immerse users into your brand’s story. It should create an atmosphere, establish a mood, reveal your motivations and morals.

A healthy portion of your brand’s story, of course, involves words. Like the most enduring tales, the story of your brand begins with a script that defines who the main players are, what they believe and feel, what they want and fear, what they do and say.

As you develop your brand identity, you build that script. It centers around a relatable protagonist – your ideal customer. It identifies her goals and the obstacles that she must overcome to achieve them. It establishes the critical supporting role that your services and products will play in helping her achieve those goals and tackle those obstacles.

If you were writing a novel or a short-story about your brand, that would be enough. But you want something more compelling, more immersive, more immediate. You want a show-stopper.

Building the set

Imagine your prospects’ browsers as the stage upon which your story plays out. Without your website, the browser is merely an empty stage. With a designer’s help, you turn that space into a setting that users want to visit often.

By creating a memorable set, you make room for drama and action, comedy and suspense. And what are the elements of that set?

Color

The colors that you choose create the mood for your brand’s story. Bright, bold colors set the stage for adventure and innovation. Subdued hues create an air of tranquility. Classic black and white establish a sophisticated mood while oranges and yellows breed a more playful atmosphere.

Font

The fonts that you choose add tone to your words. Choose fonts that convey the tenor that best suits the spirit of your story. A whimsical font will create an expectation of light-hearted fun. A more formal font will create an entirely different set of expectations.

Images

The images that you choose for your site can provide both backdrop and character development. When you can, use custom photos that depict the places where your story takes place – whether that’s in a boutique shop, from the window of a vintage food truck, or in a digital woodshop. And choose pictures that reveal your clients to themselves. Remember, they are the protagonists, and they should see themselves at the center of your brand.

Navigation

Your website’s navigation should guide visitors effortlessly through the plot points of your brand’s story. The first page unveils the main character – your ideal customer – and the primary conflict she’s experiencing.

The conflict is that problem that only your brand can solve, and so the next plot point should be an introduction to your heaven-sent team of expert guides and the tools that they’ll use to help the protagonist accomplish her goal, your About page and your Services and Products pages.

The climax of your brand’s story is found in the Testimonials and Case Studies pages where satisfied clients tell their stories of victory and the part you played in those triumphs, and the Resolution will be in the final capture form, where newly acquired fans of your brand resolve to become a part of your story.

Keep the main character at center stage, and the narrative flow of your website from the Home page to the culminating Contact Us page will be cohesive and memorable. Your brand’s story will be a blockbuster hit.

How have you integrated your brand story into your web design?

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