Regardless of which field your business is in there are some fundamental design approaches that will make your website design more effective. Be it in marketing services and products or spreading brand awareness
Keep it simple, less is more.
When creating content for a website provide as much information in as little content as possible. Be concise and brief to keep hold of users attention. Don’t try to cram a lot of moving components, videos, images on your pages, it’s distracting. Don’t put autoplay content e.g. videos that start to play when user loads page on your site, the majority of users detest that. By keeping your content minimal users will find it easier to find the information they want and usually as a bonus it also means lower load times.
User experience matters
The prime goal of a website design should not only be to look good but for users to be able to navigate the website and get the information they need in as few steps as possible. This means your navigation must be simple and intuitive. Provide multiple pathways to achieve certain actions for example add a contact button near bottom of page so user who wants to contact you doesn’t have to scroll all the way up to contact you. Autofocus your first textbox when navigating to a page with a form. Fix your navbar if your pages are long. Keep user input if a form has an error instead of forcing users to start over. It’s small things like this that improve the user experience and can turn a good experience into an amazing one.
Images are awesome. If used correctly
Images can convey a lot of information and in an easier to digest format than large blocks of text. Not only can images convey information but they can also provide cues that can make calls to action buttons stand out. However the choice of image needs to be well though out. If possible use authentic original images instead of generic stock images to increase user trust. The images will need to be properly sized and have an aspect ratio that makes them easy to view on any platform. Do not use too many images as they will not only distract your users but will slow down your page loads and use more data.
Mind the Content density
Fact: Users do not like dense content. But you have a lot of information you want to convey so what do you do. It’s a very common issue which is easily dealt with. Firstly summarize. On the landing page provide brief bits of information a user can easily understand with a short scan. Then provide links they can follow if they want more information. Secondly use rich content like images to replace or break long blocks of text.
Thirdly use elements like the accordion above that show only one grouping of information at a time.
Good Aesthetics go a long way
Aesthetics are very important on website. With aesthetics you will be mainly considering the colors, color balance and typography. On color, yes you might have your favourite colors or even established company colors but you might need to minimise use of some of those colors as they can be visually jarring or make text hard to read.
On color balance, find a pallette of compatible colors (online) and use it, incompatible high contrast colors are inadvisable. On typography, find an easy to read font and size the elements on your website well to provide visual cues on the data hierachy of your content. Body font size should be between 12 and 16 point. And please stick to 2 or at most three fonts per website. Unless you are making a font website that is.
Users have a way they expect certain website elements to behave. Although it might be tempting to be novel this can instead lead to a frustrating user experience. Some common conventions are: the navigation should be at the top or left of the page. The logo is to left or centre of a page. To the far right is the logout/login/my-account section. The bottom footer contains links to extra resources. These are things users expect and will as likely assume they are not aailable if they don’t find them where convention says they should be.
Consistent Look and Feel
Keep your website consistent form page to page. Elements like navigation menus should maintain the same position as you traverse across pages. The general styling and colors of your elements must also remain consistent from page to page. Also to be consistent users must see what they expect when they follow certain links on your site. A “buy online now” link leading to a contact us form or some other other page would be misleading. Instead an “Order Now” prompt would be more appropriate.
Keep load times short
A website should load very quickly, which usually means minimising the time it takes for the first draw to start happening. Otherwise users assume your website is not responding and leave. Eliminate resources that delay the time the websites starts to draw on a page or at least load them after the main document is loaded. Optimize the size of content like images on your pages. Merge imported content into a few files. The fewer the better.
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