Leanne Hayes on What Makes a Good Website and Great Branding | MP 48

Why is brand consistency important for building trust between the company and its audience? Are there pillars of web design to make sure to keep in mind when you create your website? Why should you stay away from design trends when building your brand?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks with Leanne Hayes about what makes a good website and great branding.

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Meet Leanne Hayes

Vanilla Hayes is a creative design studio specializing in brand identity for small to medium businesses, graphic design for print, packaging, and signage, website design, and bespoke wedding stationery.

What started as a solo side hustle has organically grown into a small team of five designers working collaboratively in a central office space. Based in sunny Marlborough, New Zealand; they enjoy delivering effective, affordable design and quality printed goods to showcase your brand and ensure you’re noticed by your ideal audience for all the right reasons.

Visit her website, connect on Facebook and Instagram. Email Leanne at leanne@vanillahayes.co.nz

In This Podcast


  • 3 suggestions for brand improvement
  • Recommended 5 tips for great web design
  • Some of the common branding and web design mistakes that businesses make

3 suggestions for brand improvement

  1. Audit the touchpoints between your clients and your business: It is all in the detail, from how you answer the phone to responding to emails to what your business card looks like. Go through each of these things to see where you can improve them, make them more concise, attractive, and in touch with your brand.
  2. Be consistent: You can build trust with your audience by maintaining consistency in your points of contact with them. Maintain a similar feeling between the business card to the website to increase brand recognition.
  3. Branding has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the customer: Every decision you make about your branding should be made with the customer in mind. What is important to them, what services do they need and what values do they share with your brand?

Recommended 5 tips for great web design

  1. Make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with you. Build a clear menu so that clients can see instantly how to contact you or where to go to purchase your products.
  2. Make the answers accessible. Visitors to your website will come with questions, so make answers clear and easy to find to help them get to what they are looking for.
  3. Invest in some professional photography if the budget allows. It makes a big impact on having unique, quality images to showcase your products or the vision behind your branding.
  4. Make sure your website functions well and looks good on every device. Check that your website displays all the information and graphics without being obscured if the website is being viewed on a cellphone compared to viewing it on a computer.
  5. Do not underestimate your about page. Give a bit of background to your clients about who you are, what you are about, and why you offer the services that you do to provide your clients with authenticity, and a more personalized approach.

Some of the common branding and web design mistakes that businesses make

  • When businesses only work with a logo and consider that is all the branding they need. You need to remain consistent between your font, color, and even your choice of paper because they all tie into your brand scheme. Every small detail sends suggestions to your customers, therefore they are not decisions to make lightly.
  • Try to avoid the mistake of giving yourself a temporary visual identity while you are setting your business up. Take the time you need and consider biting the bullet to make the investment into building a worthwhile brand from the beginning, so that you have a strong enough foundation to build on from instead of starting over when you design in earnest.
  • Do not get caught up in design trends. This makes it difficult to stand out when you look like everyone else, and when the trend passes your brand will look more obviously dated than if you were to create your own unique style.
  • Make sure your file formats are correct, and know which file formats you need to make your documents for them to function well in their purpose.

Useful Links:

Meet Sam Carvalho

Samantha Carvalho DesignSam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.

Thanks For Listening!

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