Do you remember the feeling you got the last time you had to use a website that seemed a bit sketchy? Maybe the submit button on the contact form looked different than all the other buttons, like it didn't belong. Or maybe there was an awkward space between elements, as if something important was missing. Whatever the design hiccup was, it led to a split-second judgment that the website you are using might be out-of-date, broken, or unreliable.
Users don’t have a high tolerance for design quirks and inconsistencies.
Surveys have shown that 70% of customers don't trust a poorly designed website (source Realwire) and 88% of them are unlikely to return to a site if they’ve had a bad experience (source Entrepreneur). And who can blame them—why would we expect a user to trust a website that doesn’t look trustworthy?
On the flip side, websites with a consistent, on-brand look can see an improvement in their bottom line. Brands who deliver a consistent experience across all channels have seen an increase in revenue (up to 23% more). Your website design is another opportunity to remove friction and deliver the experience that your customers expect in all their interactions with your brand.
“Good design is good for business”
The mantra rings true.
Keeping your website design polished and in sync with your branding takes some effort, but it’s not as difficult as it may seem. Over the years, we’ve refined a process that has enabled our clients to:
- Preserve the custom look of their original design
- Adhere to brand guidelines
- Support multiple authors
- And provide enough variety to avoid bland or lack-luster pages
By breaking down web pages into modules and incorporating those modules early in our process, we’ve created designs that have scaled remarkably well over time. Let’s take a minute to explain what we mean by "modules" and then we'll talk about the benefits they bring.
What is a Module?
A module is a single, isolated component—think of it as a piece or a slice of a web page. Every feature and piece of content on any site we build will become a self-contained module, whether it’s used once or a hundred times. Every module is designed to be:
- Mobile friendly
- Easily configurable (without breaking design)
- Self-contained (not dependent on other modules)
- And repeatable
Blocks You Can Stack
By creating versatile, reusable pieces for authors, they can in turn assemble those pieces into landing pages, blog posts, case studies, or any type of content they wish. Some of the modular blocks include:
- Rich Text Editors and Lists
- Images and Videos
- Tables, Tabs, and Toggles
- Forms and Buttons
- And custom modules unique to a website, such as a donation widget
To illustrate this in the simplest terms, it's like we're manufacturing the lego blocks you get to play with later.
How Modules Improve Design Consistency (and Author Experience)
Now that you understand what modules are and how they are part of our process, let’s look at the benefits they bring.
1. Modules Give Authors Design Control within Appropriate Constraints
Each module we build is carefully styled to match a site's look-and-feel out of the box; but authors can customize each one further with pre-set color themes, layout controls, and optional settings. The configuration we provide enables authors to introduce variety, keep the design interesting, give a page that custom look, and have confidence that they are staying within their brand's style guide.
Building a page with modules strikes the perfect balance between too much design control and not enough.
2. Modules Make Publishing Easier and Faster
If you have ever had to publish a blog post using only a single WYSIWG text field, then you understand what a frustrating author experience feels like. Text fields are great for text; but as a page's content expands to include media, buttons and more, then text fields begin to show their fragility.
Modules provide a vastly superior alternative. Instead of cramming everything into a generic "body" field, authors can now add and stack modules for images, videos, lists, toggles, and (yes, of course) text.
We regularly hear from the clients we’ve trained just how fast and intuitive it is to publish new content in this way. Check out our article on how Craft is the easiest CMS to learn, and you'll see what we mean.
3. Modules Preserve a Design's Integrity at Scale
Modules are consistent by nature. Their pre-set styles and functionality ensures that every time a module is used it will look and function as it should. For sites with hundreds of pages and multiple authors, modules are a massive safeguard against design drift.
And as an added benefit for authors, we include a private Module Guide page in each site we build. It serves as a point of reference and at-a-glance guide for every available module on the site.
So there you have it! We trust you can see how this modular approach balances control with constraint, streamlines publishing, and maintains design consistency over time.
Our platform of choice for developing scalable, modular websites is Craft CMS. We're proud to be one of their official, Enterprise Verified partners; and our clients have loved the author experience and ease of use Craft provides.
If you'd like to explore how a modular design can bring consistency to your company's brand website, we'd love to chat.