Good web design is a careful balance between technology and aesthetics. When you visit an eye catching website, what is it that makes it stand out? Is it the visuals? Is it the content? Or, the easy navigation?
The following are some important factors to take into consideration when designing or purchasing a website.
Your online image should reflect your offline identity. Ultimately, you want your website to connect the user with the information they are searching for. You want to do this by peaking and keeping their interest. This is where your company should craft a mission statement and business goals and objectives. A pretty site does nothing without strategy. A well designed website should fulfill the business objective, whether it’s to inform or sell.
Your target audience’s interests should be the overarching consideration in determining the style of your site. Consider Orbitz.com or Expedia.com websites. Their layout and styling focus on the search tool rather than adding flashy elements.
Understanding the human thought process is important in designing an idyllic experience on the web.
- Clean Visual Design: Keep is simple. You’ve heard it over and over. The visual effects play an important role in the communication of content, but only as long as it serves the website’s primary purpose. The aesthetics should support the navigation and interaction functions. CSS transitions can help us to make website interactions more human.
- Ease of Use: Start out with a structure that appeals to and works with your audience first. The last thing you want is for visitors to become flummoxed by a confusing website. Simply, make sure people can effortlessly find the information they’re looking for. This is where text structure, search placement and other site elements come into play. If your viewers have to go searching, then your navigation is too complex. Knowing how users move around a web site is useful in keeping their interest and helping them easily find what they’re looking for. Increasing the usage of the successful callouts and eliminating the ineffective ones will increase conversions.
- Functionality: Whether it’s to inform, entertain or serve as an e-commerce platform, a good website has to serve its purpose. It can be the most strikingly beautiful site you’ve seen in years, but if you can’t find the information quickly, you’re going to leave. Your site on a mobile device should anticipate their need and address it with design and navigation that allows them to easily find whatever it is they need. Make the site intuitive.
- Speed: About 30% of consumers will start to abandon a website after 5 seconds of loading time. There are many factors to consider in making a site load faster. Simplify design elements can not only increase the speed, but can be popular aesthetically. It won’t matter how pretty your site is if nobody waits around long enough to read it.
- SEO: A gorgeous website doesn’t do much good if no one can find it! Content is king! This can be augmented through blog posts, static pages, eBooks, YouTube videos and more. Keywords, frequency and relevance are crucial in your SEO efforts. Establish an ongoing content marketing campaign where relevant and timely content is placed on your website, regularly. Google will reward websites with fresh, relevant content.
With the massive increase in mobile usage, responsive web design provides an optimal viewing experience across all devices. Creating a website version for each resolution and new device would be impractical, given the endless number of resolutions and devices. New devices with new screen sizes are being developed every day, so web design should automatically adjust. Responsive design is just that, responsive. It’s the concept that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.
Believe it or not, there is a science to how we view the web. Companies like Google, Barnes & Noble and eBay are all integrating neuroscience discoveries into their web design. Our eyes will be drawn to certain common elements of web design.
EyeQuant uses algorithms based on eyetracking studies and research to evaluate web sites, claiming they can predict where a viewer’s attention will go when they load a web site. Realeyes uses computer vision to read people’s faces and to measure how they feel.
The significance of a good web design in the modern day is monumental. Be sure you have an expert/s working with your business’ best interest in mind.