Here’s a brutal truth about creating websites:
The presentation of your web builds often matters far more than how well constructed they are.
It’s true no matter if it’s your client or their customers – You can give a client a brilliantly executed project but if the presentation is visually lacking then you could be criticised even when there’s nothing wrong with the work itself.
But here’s the thing:
You can do something about it right now by starting to incorporate stock content into your work and in this article we’re going to show you exactly how to do it using iStock.
Speed Up Your Workflow with Website Templates
Templates are a great way to speed up project workflows, because they enable you to quickly put together mockups or even put together the underlying framework so you can focus on the finer details and user experience of the site.
They also cut down time spent on agreeing on the style and layout of the site, especially if the client is unclear in their project brief and are not able to send you any stylistic references.
You can send over templates in a variety of suitable styles and get feedback straight away, rather than having to waste time creating lots of material that will be rejected.
For example, if you are creating a website for a data analytics company, but are not sure exactly what layout or style would work best for the client, then you could start by sending a more standout layout like this:
You could also send them a more content focused template like this, and include content from the client’s blog to help show how their articles can be presented:
Or even an abstract approach, which enables front-end tweaks to highlight features of the page, and then suggest small animations based on specific user interactions:
The quicker you can get client feedback the better you can grasp what layout and style works best for their customers and also what types of user interaction the site needs to be based around.
Populating Websites with Quality Content
If you give a client a brilliantly made website but it’s got no content to show it off then they might be critical of how it looks even if you think that’s unfair.
Simply adding quality video content like the example below can totally transform how a website looks to a client, but is proven to be the most engaging form of content you can add to a site.
But you don’t have to use the normal format of content and thinking outside the box can really deliver strong results. For example, if your client has a package with a time limited offer then why not highlight the urgency by using a countdown like this?
Or if you want to really take it to the next level then how about putting together a package of either new material or existing blog posts and then presenting it as a gift to your audience?
You can then use an animation like this and hire an animator to add your product inside the box with a special code:
A really under appreciated benefit of pre-populating websites with content when you send them to clients is that it helps them to clarify how users may interact with their site.
For example, you can send them this flow chart and edit the tags to customise it, or even chop it up to create your own chart.
The use of stock content doesn’t have to be confined to templates or videos and photographs, stock vector icons are a great way to help the UX of a client’s site costing you time on the project.
An animation like this is also a great way to show that your site is optimised for desktop, mobile and tablet:
If you have the budget, and want to be more ambitious, then how about taking these mobile device templates and then placing site previews on them to either show a client how a site looks on a mobile device, or show the customer on the homepage how the site works rather than telling them through text.
Introducing a Product or Service
A great way to add value on a client project is to give them a short intro video when you present them with the website. For example, what if you’re creating a website for a full-service marketing agency and you want to liven up the presentation of the site?
A video like this highlights the terms the agency is wanting to highlight and helps the viewer to understand what to expect from interacting with the site:
Or if you want something more personalised then you could add a client’s unique selling points to this tablet for a homepage:
Or if the client has an app that is currently unreleased then you could build anticipation by using this video to indicate that it is coming soon:
Overall, the trick with presenting websites effectively is to consider all the little details. Learning to use stock content effectively will enable you to add visual refinement to your websites and really blow client’s minds with the visual impact of your sites so they’ll keep coming back and hopefully tell their friends!
So why should I use iStock?
Unlike many stock sites, iStock’s library contains a vast array of video footage and templates available for video content producers, editors and developers.
It has literally millions of 4K, HD and SD videos ready to go when you need them most. They’ve got plenty to fit most categories and they’re great quality and fully editable if you need to make them a bit more customisable too.
Whether you need landscapes, green screen videos or just good old animations, there’s a video to suit what you need. It’s easy to search for, too.