website development adelaide

Adelaide website design that turns heads

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We’re an Adelaide website design and development agency that thrives on helping organisations like yours be more successful.

Whatever your vision - or your problem - we'd like to help.

We offer end-to-end design and website development for a range of content management systems (CMS), including WordPress, WooCommerce, Shopify and WebTemplate.

Online marketing services include SEO - search engine optimisation, Google Ads, ecommerce websites, brand identity, logo design ... the list goes on!

Are you frustrated because you can’t make quick website updates easily and by yourself?  Or perhaps you need a website redesign to refresh your marketing.

The custom-designed layouts we create are easy to update in-house. Added to that, you'll always have the security that Boylen's local support team is nearby and ready to help you.



Why is your website design so important?

Research from Stanford University shows that design accounts for 94% of first impressions about an organisation. "We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone," says the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab.

If your new website needs an Adelaide web development studio with strong creative credentials, please explore our portfolio of online marketing projects to assess our website design service.

The reason Boylen has thrived for 30 years is that we are client focused.  Our team delivers on projects large and small, across a wide range of website development services.

We can help your team, too!

It's not about us. It's about you! 

What To Expect

Web design process

A website development project with Boylen includes discovery, scoping, website design, development, training, launch, hosting management, and support.  The focus is on your needs and those of your potential customer or client.

Website Design Stage

A custom website design will see the creation of eye-catching designs with a strong focus on conversions and user experience. Designers take a 'mobile-first' approach to ensure the responsiveness of all web design elements.


Our Adelaide based website developers use the digital designs you have approved to bring your vision to life. Fast, secure and built with best practice SEO, whether you need a business website or an online presence for an association, medical practice school etc.

Training on your website builder (CMS)

A great website is one that you can update instantly without waiting on your web design company. Boylen provides in person website training in Adelaide for you and your staff. This ensures you have the skills and confidence to manage content and make future changes. We also create a digital user guide, personalised for your website, to assist with knowledge transfer. 

Web design Adelaide pricing

We can provide a fixed price website quote within as little as 24 hours, depending on your timeframe and the complexity of the project.

Our pricing model is based on a tiered approach and centres around clear project scoping. This ensures we deliver an accurate cost assessment with no surprises. Pricing varies and we are neither the cheapest not the most expensive for website development in Adelaide. Allow us to quote on your website design project or your website redesign and we will provide you with a fixed price. Start Your Project Form.

Timeframes for the best web design

How long does it take to design and launch a website? The answer depends on project size, complexity and your availability. A simple site where the content is ready should only take a few weeks. A more sophisticated web design project might see a 12-week turnaround from discovery meeting to launch. 

While we have certain quality timeframes so we don't rush the design etc, we normally find that project speed is governed by your ability to get design approval internally and to finalise content.


Our Adelaide-based digital agency uses a range of communication tools to manage milestones and keep all parties informed and on track. 

Website support

Rest assured you will have access to an Adelaide support team and online support portal that can be reached 24/7. Raise a ticket, email our staff or pick up the phone - we're always ready to help.It's all part of our web design service.

Boylen Projects
Boylen Projects


website package options:

Option One: Entry-level package

  • Designed to be a quick and cost-effective solution 
  • Display your brand, message and services
  • Includes all functional modules required for your business' needs. (ie. mobile responsive, news/blog, team pages, events, contact us, Google maps integration, training, online training manual etc)
  • Uses the latest Gutenberg version of WordPress for a visual editor
  • 4-12 week turnaround
Boylen Projects
Boylen Projects

Option two: Designed and Refined

  • Includes all the features of Option one, plus:
  • Increased focus on a unique design with a modern UX focus
  • Strict user flow and user funnel pathway creation
  • More time invested into optimising mobile display to improve user retention and new user conversion
  • Dedicated development time for custom componentry and integrations
  • Embedded social media feed
Boylen Projects
Boylen Projects

Option 3: eCommerce

  • Includes all of the features of Option two, plus:
  • eCommerce platform integration
  • Product management and integration
  • Stock management and integration
  • Postage integration (Aus post and international)
  • Payment gateway integration
  • Event and conversion tracking
  • Customer acquisition monitoring and reporting


Boylen Projects
Boylen Projects

Large projects and custom solutions

  • Includes all of the features of option two, plus:
  • The process starts with heat mapping and in-depth discovery meetings
  • User group reviews and competitor analysis
  • Documented strategy with a strong focus on user experience
  • Custom systems development
  • Custom workflow development
  • Custom application or functionality
  • Database integrations (Salesforce, Hubspot, etc)
Boylen Projects
Boylen Projects

Website Design FAQs

Can you redesign an existing website?

Yes, we redesign websites all the time. We are usually approached by a business or organisation that is looking for fresh ideas, better creative … or is generally unhappy with the service they are currently receiving.
Website redesign may involve cosmetic updates – sometimes called “reskinning”, a “facelift” or a “refresh”. On the other hand, your site might have reached the end of its useful life and you need to design and develop a completely new site.
There are many reasons for a website refresh. The most common is that your site is working well but the design looks tired and dated. 
Another reason is resources. It’s time for an update but choosing a design refresh doesn’t require the number of hours and effort that go into building a new website from the ground up.
Maybe you have new branding or your main product has had a major new release, so it’s time this was reflected online.
Other clients come to us with a problem. An aspect of the site is not working well. Or they had a high performing website that was working well but it has become bloated with more and mor content and the failing user experience is costing sales. 

Website redesign under construction

Completely New Website
Sometimes the term “website redesign” actually refers to a complete rebuild.
There are many reasons why organisations choose a complete rebuild. Your site may have been built on old technology that doesn’t “talk” to your business. It may sit on a content management system that has poor SEO or is too hard to make changes on. It may have become bloated with content and management feels that a fresh start will deliver superior results.
Whatever the reason, Boylen has helped many South Australian (SA) and interstate companies refresh their site to ensure their positioning, image and brand are achieving expectations.
The best thing about a website redevelopment project is that you have user experience data from your existing website. The Boylen web designers can access that data to guide choices about user experience and the website design elements that will best fulfill your goals. 
According to some, you should change your website as often as you change your smartphone. Retailers change their sites annually, while fashion houses often go for major seasonal changes.
Click here if you are interested in talking about website redesign Adelaide services.

Should I look outside Adelaide to get the best web design?

The quality of web design in Adelaide ranges from award-winning to dreadful. The very best website design Adelaide has to offer will rank among the best globally; we know, because have done several benchmarking exercises.

It's the same with everything. Young people often leave Adelaide to test themselves in other capital cities in Australia and overseas. They return when they realise that Adelaide's best talent ranks alongside the world's best. 

It's one of the reasons that companies abroad have retained Boylen's services. We're not saying we are the best in the world but we do know that our work passes quality tests both in South Australia, in the USA, Europe, India and the Middle East. (Over 90% of our work is done in Adelaide, for South Australian clients.)

To make an assessment of a creative agency or individual web designer, looking at their portfolio is a good place to start.

Then you need to ask the right questions. Apart from the content of the answers you get, listen to "how" they respond. Some designers are prima donnas and will fight you for every change you want to make. They view your website as a chance to create art, rather than the develop a beautifully designed website that serves a commercial purpose.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your next project: Web Design Adelaide or call (08) 8233 9444.

What should my web design include for good SEO?

Topic tags: SEO Adelaide | Website Design Adelaide | September 2022.

The best website design is both aesthetic and practical. It has to improve click-through rates and generate high value traffic for your website.
So the best web designers include best practice SEO in their thinking.
Three tips:

  1. Start with a SEO-friendly site structure. Communicate with your web designer why you’ve chose this structure and navigation so they understand ‘the big picture’.
  2. Don’t guess. Apply tracking software to your website. Work out pains points where you lose people and get your website designer to create a solution that keeps people on the site and engaged. That’s good optimisation!
  3. Design so that on-page elements – such as various headings - are designed to promote your main keywords. This is designing with business purpose, rather than “airy fairy” design that might look pretty but fail to deliver results.

What are some examples of Boylen’s digital innovation?

“Innovation” is one of those words that is used a lot – and recently a prospective website design client in Adelaide asked us to justify our use of the term.
Here are a few examples we gave.

  • Designed and developed our own Content Management System - WebTemplate. 
  • In the days before DropBox, a client asked us to build a large file transfer tool. It was bespoke technology investment, owned by the client and used for many years.
  • A digital asset management system used by the likes of Coopers and Diageo. With the advent of Adobe, Digizuite on Microsoft Azure and Google Drive, we slowly phased it out.
  • Flinders University: an iPad-based app for staff to take into the field to capture data in Indigenous communities.
  • Minelab: worked with the Minelab team to implement an online solution to help beat counterfeiters. 
  • ICHM: reinvented their online application form so ICHM owned it again and could track who was dropping out of the funnel and at what stage.
  • An Adelaide-based Association: took their paper-based legal and contractual documents and converted them to interactive online forms that members could use. 

If you have an idea, let's talk.

Contact Us

How do I assess the quality of your web design?

The quality of a web design service is best measured by reviewing an agency’s website design portfolio.

By looking at our work, you’ll get a sense of what we can do, our creative designs and if we are a good match for you.

(Of course, if you are located in Adelaide, visit our office on Glen Osmond Road, Fullarton, for an obligation-free chat.

We create websites from a blank page. We start with your existing data, usually from Google Analytics and other user experience sources. This informs the website design, ensuring it is evidence-based web design, not just pretty images arranged on a page.

Whether you come to us as a client, another digital agency or a web developer seeking creative web design input, we will take you through the design process we have honed over 30 years. This includes 15+ years specifically in web design in Adelaide, nationally and around the world.

The types of website design questions we ask are very different to web development questions. At this stage we are interested in your brand, your story and the visual expression of who you are. (The web development side is more concerned with functionality – the nuts and bolts of a website.)

We will show you the latest trends in website design and steer you away from passing fads that will quickly age your website’s design appeal.

Early discussions will also centre on web design for phones. A mobile-centric design is always simplified and always helpful (think address, contact details etc for people on the move). But it your mobile website design can still retain a high degree of branding. Check out this website we developed for Kangaroo Island Spirits. It retains its design aesthetic, has clear pathways and a bold call to action.

Get in touch.

Are you an Adelaide website redesign agency?

When you redesign a website, it gives you the opportunity to say: “If we were designing our website from scratch today, we would …”
The possibilities are endless. Which is great – and also sometimes stressful when you are overloaded and aren’t sure what’s the best decision for your business.
So while it’s not critical for you to search for a website design “near me” – it’s nice to be in the same city so that we can meet. (For the record, we’re located on Glen Osmond Road in Adelaide, South Australia. That’s why we brand ourselves as Boylen | Website Design Adelaide.)
The redesign of a website should be an uplifting experience. From your current website, you may know what works well, what doesn’t, the hurdles to a better user experience and so on. You have a wealth of data – both objective and subjective – at your fingertips which our web designers and developers can use to improve your website.
Whether it’s a website redesign for small business, big business, a not for profit, school, medical practice … anything … the fundamentals of best practice apply. 

Cost to redesign a website 
Let’s deal with this one first. There are no hard and fast rules but with the service levels we provide, and the quality of our website design, it may be anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000-plus. If you are a local school, you can budget at the low end. If you a manufacturer of multiple products that you export from South Australia to the rest of the world and manage an extensive dealer network through your website, then your budget needs to be in the tens of thousands. Ask us for a website design quote, which will include development, project management, warranties, SEO etc. It will also list any exclusions, so that you know up front what to expect.

How often should I redesign my website?
It is often said (but we’re not sure it’s based on any empirical research) that companies redesign their website every two to three years. Retail more often. Less frequently for companies with full order books and aren’t looking to grow. The better question would be:” “How long will it take to redesign my website?” The answer is that it depends on complexity. Typically anywhere from eight weeks to nine months for a major, mission critical website that has a high level of sophistication ‘under the hood’ (eg. Seeley International, Minelab).
Website redesign project plan 
We can help you develop this, or put your plan into action. Our team enjoys advising clients on “better ways of doing things” by offering options and possibilities.

Website redesign process
The process is simpler than launching your first website because you have a wealth of data to guide your decisions. You also have the experience. But of course, we understand that a website redesign is probably one of many projects on your plate. That’s where we come in. As a full service agency, we can do as much or as little as you would like. Our in-house services include responding to a RFP for website redesign, right through to launch and ongoing support.

Website redesign SEO
We’ve seen some train wrecks in our time, where a website has lost all of its hard-earned search engine rankings. The bad news is that it takes time to regain that success. The good news is that we can work with you to ensure you don’t find yourself in that position in the first place. 
Website design elements
The elements of good website design apply, whether this is your first site or your tenth. Design with your user in mind, have clear pathways and calls to action, pay attention to SEO best practice and don’t treat mobile web design as an afterthought. 
Final word
If you have a website to redesign, it’s an exciting yet sometimes daunting time. We have the experience to help take you to the next level, with the project managers, designers and developers to support you at every step of the journey.

Here a few we have done recently:

If you would like to discuss your next website redesign – Adelaide agency Boylen is creative and fun to work with – and waiting for you to make contact.

Should my Adelaide web designer understand SEO?

SEO + Design: A simple example using “web design in Adelaide”

SEO is an essential skill for the designers that will create your website.

They don’t need to be experts but they do need to understand the fundamental concepts in order to structure their designs so that the site and key landing pages are optimised for search engines.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to be found for the search term “web design in Adelaide” … which is something that is clearly important to Boylen!

Normally, not all of your target keywords can be included in your standard text. It reads poorly. So they will need to be included in other elements – and this is where the web designer comes in.

A SEO conscious designer would include a variety of headings and sub-headings within their design. One heading might be “web design services Adelaide”, while another might be “website design Adelaide prices”.

As an aside, either web design in Adelaide or web design services in Adelaide would also be the page title. This is part of technical SEO and shouldn’t really be part of a creative designer’s project brief.

When the designer chooses fonts and widths etc, they will normally places sample text. This is “Lorem Ipsum” placeholder text. It shows you how the words will appear on the page. It’s at this stage that the designer should be thinking of SEO by including a series of sub-headings which can be optimised for terms associated with your key goal. In our example, one might be “web design Adelaide South Australia”, another could be “web design company in Adelaide”

The gifted designer won’t choose these terms. They will simply provide the necessary design elements for you – or your marketing agency – to carry out your content strategy.

However, you may employ the designer to choose your imagery. That’s important. The images should relate to the text and the designer is responsible for creating a file name that reflects the image.

So in our example, file names like “web design companies Adelaide” and “web design agency Adelaide” would be appropriate.

We also like our designers to show some link anchor text within their dummy content, so that if a client is inserting their text, they visually see that they should be including links. These might be external but more often they are internal.

Using our example, our content experts would choose terms along the lines of “website design Adelaide small business”, and “website design for schools”, and then similar for medical, defence, legal and so on.

If the designer doesn’t provide these extra opportunities, you will be restricted in what you can achieve with your search marketing.

Designers that do have this basic knowledge are living proof of the power of high performance teams. When creatives, techs and marketing staff are working together, the outcome for your new website will be greatly enhanced.

Reach out to us if you would like to know more.

What is Boylen’s strategy for mobile web design?

People often ask: “How do I make my website design look great on mobile phone screens?” Put another way, the question is: “How do you design a website for mobile and desktop?”

Boylen’s advice is to start by designing for the small screen first.

Then progress to larger screens.

By using this process, you start small and minimalist, and are focussed on the key messages and priorities for your website.

Here are a few starter tips for designing for smart phones, tablets and iPads:

  1. Many desktop websites have text overlaid on large images. However, this is a poor user experience (UX) when shrunk. The contrast is terrible. Therefore, large images that are stunning on desktop may need to be removed. If not, they may need to be cropped so that text doesn’t run across the key part of an image, such as your CEO’s face!
  2. Think about the mobile UX in your designs. Do you like scrolling endlessly on a phone? Neither does the visitor who is navigating your website.  Set up a series of tasks you want the typical user to complete and then test this. It may mean you have to adapt your mobile designs but it’s better to do it pre-launch than after going live.
  3. Designing for mobile dimensions is critical. These determine the “breakpoints” – which is the point at which elements resize to suit the next screen sise (eg. moving from tablet to smartphone).
  4. Design for the thumb zone. People browsing your site on their phone are probably on the move. They are typically hold the phone in one hand and scroll and complete other actions with their thumb. Or they may use two thumbs. This limits the reach on today’s larger phones, so make sure you design with this in mind. So place buttons at the bottom of each screen.
  5. Be aware that if you have an older target audience, they may tend to hold with one hand and use a finger on their other hand to navigate. Design for your demographics.
  6. Steer away from fonts that mimic handwriting. They don’t display well on mobile phone screens.
  7. Think about your key call to action. Is it prominent? What about loading speed; does the design accelerate or hinder? How is your SEO? Google has a mobile-first policy, so you really need to nail this one.

At Boylen, we offer you the confidence that comes from years of experience with optimising mobile web design.

Check out our FAQs on responsive web design for more advice. Or contact us to start the conversation.

What is Responsive Design and why is it "mission critical"?

Responsive design is simply a way of developing websites so that it adapts itself to display well, and be easy to navigate and read, no matter what device it is being consumed on.

There are two key reasons why responsive design is important:

1.The majority of all web traffic in Australia is now mobile. People are using their phones and tablets more and more to “surf the web”, and of course to decide where to spend their money. If your site is not fully responsive or truly mobile friendly, you are putting up barriers to people wishing to learn more about your business, and these people may well be potential clients. (Note: just because your site is responsive, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is mobile friendly.)

2.Several years ago, Google rolled out changes to its search algorithm that is used to decide how to rank pages on Google searches. For example, someone searches for an orthodontist in your area on their mobile, clinics with the best mobile experience will generally rank higher in the results. Research shows that where you rank on page one of Google’s search results significantly affects how many clicks you get. And if you’re not on page one at all, then you have an even bigger problem, as very few searchers even look at page two search results.

For some examples of responsive design Boylen has launched recently, take a look at Kangaroo Island Spirits on your phone.

If you are on a laptop  or desktop, to see the responsive design in action, grab the right hand of your browser window and drag it toward the left. You will see images and content dynamically scale, and at certain points you’ll see the layout and menu design change.

Contact us now to discuss your options for a mobile friendly website design and development.

(Historical note: in the early days of smart phone browsing, companies had to have a desktop site and another site for mobile. The advent of responsive was great for many reasons, including having to maintain one set of content across all device types.)

Can you offer career advice to become an Adelaide website designer?

So you want to be an Adelaide website designer? Welcome to the club!

It’s a great career choice that offers a bright future and provides an outlet for your creativity.

There are a growing number of opportunities in the local market and once you have experience in South Australia, your ability to fit into a web development team will give you the ability to travel and work overseas.

Sadly, there is a reasonably high degree of turnover in young people who start out thinking they want a career in design. So ask yourself, why do you want to be a web designer? Test it with someone – perhaps a career counsellor – who can offer alternative suggestions you may not have considered. Be as certain as you can before you take the first step.

We are often asked, what are the attributes of the best web designers? Creativity ranks high on the list. So, too, does the ability to understand the user experience you are designing for and creating user pathways with your designs that will lead to a conversion point.

That’s a mix of creativity and soft science. If data scares you, if evidence-based web design sounds threatening, then perhaps you should think about a career in graphic design or interior design.

Before you sign up for a web designer’s course, get your hands dirty. Have you ever built a website, so you have an understanding of what’s involved for a developer who has to bring your designs to life? Try one of the free content management systems. Or use a more sophisticated CMS that offers a free trial.

Can you work in a team? You will be when you are employed as a web design professional. And all the talent in the world won’t help if you can’t communicate with clients, web developers and project managers.

Great web designers get a lot of alone time to create their magic – but they need to be able to work with others.

As you progress your studies, start thinking about what type of website design company suits you. Are you looking for a single company or do you want to be part of a fast-paced web design studio where you are working on a variety of projects at any given time?

Now it’s time for you to hear some of the tough news. A trait the best designers have is their ability to take on criticism. It’s not easy putting your design work out for client review. It can feel like you are being tested and judged, which you are.

You will experience this from lecturers but they aren’t as tough as you will experience in the ‘real world’.

The other aspect of design – whether it is website designs or graphic design – is that everyone has an opinion. If you were a nuclear scientist, few people would offer a viewpoint on your work. But when you are a graphic designer or a web designer, everyone feels entitled to have a say, whether they have the credentials or not.

The trick is to be able to decipher:

  • What is valid criticism and what is not
  • What people are seeing. They have a fresh perspective and it’s different to yours. This is an opportunity to look at your work through fresh eyes.
  • What people are trying to say, especially when they make suggestions. Non-designers can be clumsy in the feedback they give. It’s well-intentioned but it doesn’t always come out right. Try to look past how your clients communicate to the point where you can see what they are trying to express. (That doesn’t mean you should let people treat you badly. Develop your assertiveness skills so that you can ensure communication is respectful and not in any way demeaning.)

As a web designer in Adelaide - or anywhere in the world for that matter - you will need to develop a thick skin.

Adelaide has been repeatedly named as one of the most liveable cities in the world. SO a career that combines creative web design and Adelaide might be the perfect fit for you.

If you aspire to leave South Australia and ply your craft overseas, go for it! It’s a brave and exciting move. You will learn that the best website designers in Adelaide are equal to the best in the world. (That goes for any profession. Trust us on that! Our best is world class.)

However, different cultures will give you feedback in different ways. The typical American firm will be direct. The English are likely to be more circumspect. In cultures where social hierarchy is dominant, you may feel you are being talked down to. If you are a female web designer, Adelaide is a nice place to work. People are respectful, regardless of gender. That’s not true in every country, so make sure you do your homework before taking the plunge.

Where do web designers seek inspiration? The best website designers we have spoken with seem to gather ideas from everywhere. They see it in the natural world. In shapes and colours. Ideas come to them from the spoken word, as it a single word or sentence can turn on a light bulb in their head.

Others need calm to do their best work. They need to be free of distraction, both visual and audio. We have a quiet room at Boylen where people go to work undisturbed.

Some designers start the day by meditating and their best ideas flow from that place of “emptiness”.

In time you will find your own style. You will come to understand where your creative muse resides and be able to tap into it at will.


To get an idea of the different roles that could suit you, have a listen to this (sadly discontinued) podcast, entitled What Do You Do All Day?

A careers counsellor can help you with the next steps. It’s best to study, rather than trying to do it alone. We’ve only ever employed one web designer who wasn’t qualified but he was an exceptional talent.)

You can study web design in Adelaide at TAFE, universities and through private institutions.

Each will bring their own emphasis and style, so have a close look to see what suit your personal style.

For example, Brainstorm says: “The first step to becoming a Web Designer is learning web design theory. There are foundational principles for creating good websites, including user experience, structure, and color theory.”

UniSA’s approach is: “To further develop students' knowledge and skills in a range of interactive and design structures to ensure that websites and other created artefacts are visually well designed and compliant with web standards, and still reflect best practice.”

Seek provides a good insight into the market and the jobs available. Make sure you click on “SA” when drilling down into the information.

Good luck. It’s a great career choice. If you choose the agency path, you are going to work with a lot of highly creative people, clients who are delighted by your creations and you never know what the next project might hold.

What's best: agency website design or pre-designed options?

This answer examines the science behind website design. It offers specific advice on best practice digital design and how to gain a competitive edge, before getting slightly political about the pitfalls of male-dominated “cookie cutter” designs. (This is being written by man, so there's no bias here!)
There is clear evidence from numerous studies that professional website design substantially improves the probability of a person carrying out the action you wish them to take. It influences whether or users:

  1. Stay on a website or “bounce” out
  2. Trust a website enough to make purchasing and other critical decisions
  3. Click on the calls to action to complete a goal you have set, such as “buy”, “book now”, “enquire” etc.

One study, a joint research project between researchers at Harvard, Colorado and Maryland Universities, found that:
“users make lasting judgments about a website’s appeal within a split second of seeing it for the first time. This first impression is influential enough to later affect their opinions of a site’s usability and trustworthiness.”

The incredible thing is that people make important decisions based on the aesthetics of website design before (before!) they have time to notice the specific elements of a design. In the blink of an eye – just 500 milliseconds – their mind is made up.
In half a second, the human brain has rated your design.
 It explains why there has been a “dumbing down” of local website designs (Adelaide and Australia-wide) and also across the globe. Organisations are playing it safe to achieve a “tick” for the first impression.
But as we will explain later, while conformist/bland sites pass the initial trust test, their homogenous nature fails at the next hurdle, which is to give users an experience unique to your local culture, product or service.

First, The Good News
Prototypicality is what people have come to expect from something, such as a website for a specific sector. For example, a school website should not look like an adult entertainment website.
Google Research has found that “users prefer websites with low visual complexity and high prototypicality. Websites of low prototypicality are generally judged as being unattractive …”
The advice from the world’s largest search engine is that designers should “factor prototypicality very carefully when designing a website”. 
The research goes on to state that “designs that contradict what users typically expect of a website may trigger a suboptimal first impression and impair users’ expectations. Latest research shows that negative product expectations lead to lower satisfaction in product interaction (Raita and Oulasvirta, 2010, 2011).”
So an intelligent web designer knows that a creative website works within certain boundaries. They will know, for example, that visitors to a dental website will have preconceived ideas of what that website should look like - and will not try to emulate a circus website just to ‘stand out from the crowd’.
(At Boylen, we often say that a designer who wants to design purely for the sake of creativity belongs in an art gallery, not in our Adelaide web design agency.)

Complexity – it’s like Goldilocks
Linked to this Google study is the issue of complexity. As stated above, research categorically demonstrates that the average user does not like excessive complexity when it comes to website design. They do not want too much (in the way of products, features, colours, fonts etc) crammed into that design. 
Yet how do you define what is complex and what is not, in an objective manner?
When you engage in visual communication, you have to be mindful of the cognitive load. Are you asking a user to undertake a difficult task, such as buying a home, then design complexity should be low. However, if the task is not onerous, the design complexity can be higher.
Typically, professionals in a website design agency would only increase the complexity of a design if it will improve the conversion rate. Using the example of buying a house off the plan, the early pages within a user’s journey could be kept simple and focus on aesthetics, with the ability to move to deeper web pages that contain increasingly complex technical information.

Ill-Considered Complexity Kills Aesthetics

  • Visual Complexity can be defined as the number of elements on a web page.
  • It includes “colours and luminance, different sizes, shapes, and motions”. The more unusual the shapes, the greater the complexity.
  • The spatial distribution of elements on a page is important. The more cluttered it becomes, the less appealing.
  • Colour: the more colours and the further apart they are on a classic colour wheel, the greater the perceived level of complexity.

Creativity Is Not The Same As Complexity
Time and time again, research shows that it pays to use creativity to stand out from the pack. 
In 2019, HBR published “How to Design Product Pages that Increase Online Sales”, an evidenced-based design article by  Colleen M. Harmeling, Alexander Bleier and Robert W. Palmatier.
The researchers argued the case for customised design in order to be competitive and successful online.
“… we found that a single design element on an Amazon page, when used effectively, can increase purchase intentions up to 10% — a substantial amount in today’s competitive online retail environment.”
The researchers found that the UX for shoppers was typically influenced by how a website rated in the following areas, in this priority order:

  1. Entertaining
  2. Informative
  3. Social
  4. Sensory

But one size does not fit all. This priority order changes depending on the attributes of the brand.

Technical websites: ‘warm and fuzzy’ suppresses sales
Products that you can assess by comparing data points – such as specifications – did better where information-led design was obvious, but promoting a social experience for these products actually suppressed sales.
In other words, if you have a product where sales are driven by data:

  • opt for elements such as comparison charts
  • use design techniques such as text blocks and bullet points to highlight specifications
  • don’t choose a website design that “emphasizes a webpage’s warmth, sociability, and human touch”.

Experience websites require social triggers
The Harvard Business Review article then considered website that are more about an experience.
The authors concluded: “By contrast, experience products, those that typically require a customer to physically examine them, benefit from a more social and sensory experience.”
Experience products include healthcare, travel, online fashion, a hotel, restaurant or hairdresser. 
How they look, feel, taste etc is important. It’s a highly subjective purchase and in the bricks and mortar world, a person would try on shoes, drive past pub to see how many customers it was attracting or speak to a friend about a travel experience.
It’s the job of a designers in a high-quality digital agency to translate this experience into the designs by highlighting “sensory-based signals” over fact-based signals.
For example, to sell a pair of fashion shoes online, the primary considerations would be visual, so photos and videos of the shoe being worn in a fashionable setting help emulate the “experience” that the shoes will provide. The text would be less like a company report and more like prose, using rich adjectives to help convey the personality of the product and its benefits. 
This is corroborated by eye-tracking research in the research article “The effect of human image in B2C website design: an eye-tracking study”.
The study found that where a product was placed in a human setting – ie. it was being used by a person – it led to positive emotions and increased the likelihood of a conversion. 
A zoom function allows people to engage in a heightened sensory experience when zooming into an image.

Reputation should influence your design
The next stage of the design journey depends on the trust people have in your brand. Trust is important because it is the bedrock of persuasion. If people don’t trust you, good luck getting them to make the commitment you seek. 
If you are a trusted brand name like Nike, the research shows that after the initial experience-driven design, people will quickly want hard information, such as size, colours etc. This should be presented in ways that best suit data.
However, what if you are a small business or newcomer to the market?
Firstly, accept that your trust rating will be lower.
Secondly, continue to accentuate the entertainment features because you are relying more on “emotional cues and feelings than on product information”. Large product pictures and large customer ratings and reviews are recommended in this mix.

Specific design elements that promote trust
A global leader in the field of user experience is the Nielsen Norman Group.
Visitors to your website are continually evaluating whether they believe what you are saying, says Aurora Harley, a Senior User Experience Specialist with NNG. 
Four factors are critical to achieve trust – and good design is top of the list.
Let’s repeat that: Good design is the number one way that visitors to your website determine whether or not they will trust you. 
“Quality is reflected in a variety of details, including having a clear and meaningful navigation structure, a lack of typos and broken links, and a professional looking visual design,” says Aurora.
The most important factors in the design will vary by audience and will also change as design trends shift. This is why refreshing your website design is critical for success.Four key points:

  • Use high resolution graphics
  • Intelligent use of white space
  • Avoid stock imagery
  • Avoid over-use of fonts

Design hierarchy will also influence another trust factor - upfront disclosure. Your designer must ensure a layout that includes an easy-to-find returns policy for ecommerce websites, clear shipping fees etc. If a UX designer recommends you hide these elements … run!

Cultural Considerations For International Markets
One size doesn’t fit all for local digital marketing and neither does it work at a global level.
With many years of experience as an Adelaide-based digital agency for export companies, we’ve come to understand how trust varies based on the broad profiles of their target audiences.
For example, “people in a high uncertainty avoidance culture often experience nervous stress and a need for predictability … often speak with gestures, tend to be expressive and also show emotions. Countries with low uncertainty avoidance on the other hand, such as US, UK and Singapore, do not strongly show emotions and they are often less expressive”
Designs for the former tend to be more lively – and one way to tell if this is the case is to look at advertising in popular magazines. Typically you will see the use of many bright colours, exaggerated jingles and tag lines etc that would not impress, and may even repel, a local Australian audience. On the other hand, a comparatively subdued approach should be adopted for markets such as the USA and UK. 
That’s not to say that you should engage in “design bloat” because that’s the norm for an overseas market. Far from it. A digital designer for exporters would normally place the brand first and the nuances of a country second.
Keep the information architecture consistent across all regions but feature photos that show your product being used by people of that culture. (By way of example, Australian users of Minelab’s website see Australians using their metal detectors, while African users see African people.) 
Likewise, giving prominence to local contact details for that market sends a design message that your organisation is active in that country or region.
A website agency that has export experience will advise you across a wide range of areas, not just design. This will translations, options for way of displaying pricing, domains and CDNs for fast-loading website countries far from your head office.

User experience (UX) is the key
While design trends change, important principles don’t. User centred web design will always be important and must be front of mind in all key design decisions.
This means that that the focus is on the end user … not on the whims of a designer, nor you as an organisation’s owner or manager.
Having a “gut feeling” might give you a clue that something is wrong – but it is not science. If you can’t articulate the issue and back it up with knowledge-based reasoning, then its value should not be highly rated.
For example, as a client you might question the placement of a key call to action button. An experienced web designer will be able to justify the reasoning behind their design decision. This might include his or her understanding of visual hierarchy and how it leads a website visitor through a specific journey. Or it may be based on the results of heat mapping from your existing website. The benefit of using a local, Adelaide digital agency is that an experienced website designer will also bring empathy to the project. They are close to the market and can interpret the mood and emotional needs of your target audiences, going on to translate them into designs that surpass your KPIs.
This brings us back to “off the shelf” designs.
An ongoing, multi-year study of websites around the world which is rooted in objective measures, has found a worrying trend to “creeping conformity” in website design.
“We found that across all three metrics—color, layout, and AI-generated attributes—the average differences between websites peaked between 2008 and 2010 and then decreased between 2010 and 2016. Layout differences decreased the most, declining over 30% in that time frame.”
That’s the finding of Sam Goree, a PhD student in informatics at Indiana University. With colleagues he studied several thousand websites across a range of categories.
As advocates of better web design, Boylen has a real concern that companies are succumbing to “me too” digital marketing, when in fact they need to be seeking to promote their points of difference in an increasingly crowded digital marketplace.
It’s understandable that a company with limited resources will opt for a templated approach. On the other hand, there are limited-use templates you can purchase that are not sold to millions of people. This gives you access to a low cost website, without the homogenisation that is anathema to good marketing.

Visual narrative
The visual narrative of your organisation is vitally important.
Before a web user reads a single word, they are already making up their mind about your organisation based on your design selections. If they don’t decide to move on to a competitor, you then have the chance to undertake your visual storytelling and leading the user forward towards the actions you want them to take.
Cookie cutter websites built to be used by thousands and millions of people are not designed with that in mind. They are actually designed to make it easy for you to build the website, or for your digital agency to complete the project with a minimum of fuss.

Male dominated
The other problem with mass produced templates that the internet is drowning in is that they are built almost exclusively by men. 
“It’s a contributing factor to the reality that only 3% of open source contributors are women and that the majority are male and white. For the health of the internet, such lack of diversity is grim.”  (Stephanie A. Whited, 2019, in “Codes of Conduct now guide open source communities.”)
If 50% of your audience is female, you might want to question your use of a templated, open source solution. It’s men designing for women, over and over again.
Becca Caddy, writing in The Guardian earlier this year, addressed the problem of male dominated video games, when so many women play these games.
“What’s more, gaming – much like the wider technology industry – has a culture problem. For many women working in games, sexual harassment online and offline has become commonplace, pay gaps persist, and toxic work culture is pervasive.”
It’s impossible for this “culture problem” not to be reflected in the templates they produce.
By contrast, says games designer Kate Killick: “We make better games when people from different backgrounds bring their unique perspective and creativity to the table.”
That’s the approach we take at Boylen. We don’t seek to employ a male or a female for a design role, either full time or as a freelancer, but we do recognise that diversity makes for better work. Our Adelaide-based team represents the world: male and female, with both equally represented in senior positions. We’re a cultural melting pot, with Australian, Asian and European cultures represented.
This diversity is important to good design. It’s especially important when you consider that the web is ‘owned’ by eight companies:  Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent.”
This naturally leads to a conformity. They standardise processes – and they standardise designs. It’s how big companies survive as they grow ever-larger.
“We think of Facebook as a “social network,” but they are in fact an ad company. With around 2.32 billion monthly active users, Facebook makes more than 98.5% of its revenue — over $55 billion USD — from selling ads that appear in our news feeds, mostly through the Facebook app.”
Yes, we can learn from the incredible research they conduct and by learning from their design processes. Facebook, for example, makes its profits by selling ads. Their staff are experts in digital designs that maximise engagement; users have to click for Facebook to generate revenue.
On the other hand, looking like your competitors will hardly back up your point-of-difference claims that people should choose your organisation because, for example, you take a different approach or that you’re better.
Show it.
Be professional.
And like your call to action buttons that should be high contrast colours, make sure you stand out!

Need Adelaide website design? Contact us today and we'll

What are the latest trends in website design?

Web design trends are very different to passing fads. Trends have longevity. Fads can go out of favour in the passing of a season.

A good web designer can help you embrace creativity and innovation, without breaking the fundamental rules of good website design that will result in a poor user experience.

These are a few web trends you might like to consider:

Simplicity – but adventurous
Google’s search indexing is “mobile first”. The small screen means you need to keep things clean and simple. The good news is that simplicity is classic advice for both website design and graphic design - and it never goes out of fashion.

When too many elements compete for attention, everything gets lost. Great website design – in Adelaide or in any corner of the globe – embraces a clean approach. Think Apple and Nike, where less is more. It’s also the reason more desktop website designs are including the “hamburger” menu that is common to mobile website designs.

A clean design forces you to focus your design message and remove all unnecessary elements. But don’t accept a web design concept that is bland. Be adventurous to stand out from the crowd.

Strategically bold web design is very different from poorly constructed design in the guise of edgy creativity. If you can’t read a font and if you can’t easily navigate to where you need to go, it doesn’t classify as good website design.

If design is central to the success of your business, then there are many options to explore within the simplicity framework. You can check out minimalistic design of the Google search page, brutalism, neomorphism and monochromatic website design.

Trust-based design
Research by Google clearly reveals that people are now more likely to visit new websites and buy from companies they have never browsed before.

But a significant hurdle is gaining trust, especially for companies that are not household names and where the user has to divulge personal information.

Trust-inspired website design doesn’t normally register on a conscious level. It relies on the use of the right elements in the right place.

You might know it as social proofing and it incorporates social cues and other content.

We can give you lots of advice in this area. And you can use A/B testing to measure it.

More animation please
Animation is not new but users expect a constantly improving experience and movement is important to that. Movement in website design not only projects a sense of the dynamic, it helps draw the eye to what’s important on the page.

Modern web designers know when to use movement and when to stay with a static design.

They can also show you new effects, which helps project your website as contemporary.

Asymmetrical layouts 
Asymmetrical website design continues to grow in popularity. It moves away from the use or perfectly symmetrical elements (which can be too boxy) to achieve balance. 

In the hands of a great designer, asymmetrical website design does actually achieve a sense of balance. Even though you are using objects of different size and shape, and not trying to mirror colours and contrast, the finished result is asymmetrical balance.

It doesn’t jar but it does allow you to be unique and express your brand.

Type as the “hero”
Think of web design with muted photos and extra-large text as the main element. Or plain white/black backgrounds with bold headlines and little else (we love Dillinger:

To nail this style of web design, you need to select lettering that evokes your brand. Big companies can afford to design their own, original typeface but these days there are many high quality fonts libraries where you can buy what you need. The beauty of taking this path is that most people opt for free fonts, so this helps achieve distinctive web experience.

Minimalist, font-driven design is also a cut-through way to sell your key message.

Colour in web design
Colour trends come and go. Some last a year, others are gone in a season. That’s okay if you are in retail and refreshing your website at least once a year. 

Otherwise, the best website design works from a well-considered colour palette that takes its inspiration from your branding. Experienced website designers understand what colours work well in combination, what colours should be avoided – and how to use colour to draw the eye (eg. to highlight call to action buttons such as Buy Now).

Colour alternative – out there!
If you are a young brand, if your staff wear t-shorts to work, have pets in the office or a “WTF – let’s just do it” culture, then the current “back to the future” design trend might appeal.

Essentially, the retro trend embraces all of the awful elements of early website design and elevates it to an art form. Imagine graphics overload, screaming starbursts, hot pink pop-ups and all the colours under the sun.

It screams “fun” … but only if you are a coffee shop or Mexican restaurant, a digital start up or an edgy retail experience.

A multi-media colour swatch. Colour is as important in website design as it is in conventional print.

How soon can you start my web design?

Your Adelaide web development projects can start immediately, whether you are highly prepared or just starting out.

If you are ready to go, you can meet online or in person with a web designer or project manager (it depends who is available at the time that suits you).

However, if you are in the early stages, we can guide you along the process and outline what you need to prepare for a project kick off meeting.

Reach out to us - we're friendly, professional and creative.

Adelaide Ecommerce website design and development

Your ecommerce web design must evoke trust. It’s time to tone down the marketing hype and increase “trust signals” that people instantly recognise. These signals, when well placed within website page design, will give users the confidence to make a purchase.

If you have trust or security badges from respected organisations, such as Google Trusted Store (Google Certified), display these prominently.

Likewise, your designer should understand that people typically look for information on returns policies, deliveries etc, so links for these should be placed where users can find them easily.

Your website designer should also understand that the site needs to be fast. As fast as you can make it – because there are numerous studies that show how many sales are lost per second of lag time. So don’t slow down your ecommerce web page with designs that include unnecessary videos and other large files.

Note that word “unnecessary”. The fundamentals of a good sales page include photos that display your product to perfection. Short videos, too! Ecommerce product images are integral to the sales process. But don’t make the mistake of including your company PR video on a sales conversion web page.

A good ecommerce web designer also understands user experience design – and part of that is upselling. You can substantially increase the size of a transaction by suggesting high margin add-ons at the right moment … but do it the wrong way, or too often, and you will actually start losing sales.

Another task your ecommerce web designer has is the “Add To Cart” button. What size? What colour? Where will it be placed on the page? All of these have a marked impact on sales conversion.

Leaving the best until last: how does the design work on a mobile phone screen. Google published a study saying that “shopping is now digital first” – and we know the same organisation has a mobile first policy when ranking your ecommerce website.

Don’t just shrink your product and checkout pages. Don’t just take a desktop design and start cutting out components until it fits nicely.

What we recommend is that you look at great examples of ecommecrce sites that have been optimised for mobile. Then take a blank sheet of paper and write down what absolutely must be on your own page.

Give that to your designer.

The best UX designers will then take their own blank page (okay, a digital blank page) and start the design process from there.

For a truly local Adelaide ecommerce website design experience, contact us today.

We'd love to work with you and your team.

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