Learn how our senior designer, Laura, applied intelligent design concepts to create a world class website for 

Recently Limerick.ie, a unique integrated digital platform designed by Dara Creative designer, Laura Hodson, was named one of the world's best tourism websites. 

Limerick City and County Council wanted a digital platform to reflect the modern changes taking place in the city over the past number of years and to reflect Limerick’s resurgence as one of Ireland’s fastest growing regions. The objective was to create an online portal for Limerick residents, businesses and students that would also capture the attention of tourists worldwide. Engagement and interactivity were imperative for this redesign from the outset. 

In this blog post, we’re outlining how to design a world class website, keeping the user in mind at all times, just as Laura did with Limerick.ie.

Read more: Learn of our involvement with the Limerick.ie redesign in detail

Find out what your users want

When it comes to designing a website that acts as a fulcrum for an entire community and attracts tourists as well as businesses, it’s important to find out what each audience wants before developing a design concept. 

Online surveys are an excellent way of asking your target audience what they want from a website that’s dedicated to them. 

Once the information is gathered, it can be invaluable in determining the layout and navigation of a website. For example, upon surveying Limerick.ie’s target audiences, we learnt that a more engaging and visual platform was required, one highlighting family-friendly activities, local places of interest and places to eat and drink; these elements are at the forefront of the design. 

Community_Website_Design_Concept

Effective use of colour

In order to catch the user’s eye, intelligent use of colour in your design concept can be an incredible tool. You can draw them to key points on your homepage by using prominent colours that are both complementary to the overall colour concept.

This is something Laura implemented in the design of Limerick.ie. The homepage navigation combines relevant imagery with colour blocks to draw the eye to particularly engaging or informative areas on the site. 

Intuitive Navigation

Ordinary navigation bars have their place in the world, however, when designing a more engaging and interactive website, there is room to play around. 

As long as the navigation is intuitive and meets the needs of the user, you can be more creative and design beyond a typical nav-bar. 

This is something we did with Limerick.ie; there are three main categories for each target audience with images and colours determining each subjection, rather than utilising the typical navbar with drop down menus. 

Putting Imagery to the forefront

There have been countless studies that reflect the power of imagery on a website and in online marketing in general. It’s been said that, usually, people are more inclined to engage with content if it is visual. 

Keeping this in mind, it makes sense that imagery will be at the forefront of your design, particularly on a community-based website where places and people are the key focus. 
With Limerick.ie, imagery is a key component of the website as the community, the city and county themselves are the main focus. The homepage is colourful and filled with eye-catching imagery and photographs of people. 

An intelligent design concept is what makes websites that people talk about, and people are certainly talking about Limerick.ie. With Limerick.ie it was important to make clear that the people, businesses and visitors within the city and county are what make Limerick special. This is reflected in a unique and intelligently designed website. 

Are you working towards a global presence? Dara Creative has the expertise and the experience to design, develop and market a website that will drive people to visit and engage with your content on wider scale. Get in touch with us to arrange a meeting to discuss your project.