April 2, 2014
Good Web Design
There are millions of websites out there on the Internet – how do you get yours to stand out from everything else? Web design is every bit as important as finding the right Internet address or creating content that drives traffic to the page. One of the most common misconceptions about web design is that if it looks nice, it will become successful and while a nice-looking website is always a great way to start an online business or to boost the Internet presence of a traditional business, the usability of a website is the most important factor to consider.
Identify Your Users
When creating the look or feel of a website, you must keep your users in mind – if they don’t know how to navigate or utilize the features on the page then they serve no purpose. One way to stand out with good web design is to:
Understand the way in which users interact with websites
Figure out what users think about when they arrive on a website
Identify the behavior of Internet users
Once you have these three components down, you can move on to creating a page with ideal web design. Internet users are in a hurry, which means most of the time they land on a page they scan the words, browse around and click on a link that catches their eye. In most cases, a visitor to a website won’t even click on the different sections within the webpage! If the link doesn’t take a user where they need to go, they often use the ‘Back’ button to the previous page and try again. When it comes to a website, users want ease – using the Back button to retreat on a website is preferred and offers quick results. For this reason, it’s a good idea not to direct links to new browser windows as it creates difficulty to return to the previous page and reduces the likelihood that a user will go back to the website and continue browsing.
Content Over Design
Keep this in mind when determining the design of a webpage – users prefer content over design, so don’t compromise the quality of content on the page in an attempt to attract visitors to the page with a sleek design. Internet users like to have control of what they see and how they get there, so make it as simple as possible to ensure traffic over time.
Good web design is about keeping it simple and user-friendly, so it should always be self-explanatory and easy to navigate. For this reason, including visual clues within the design makes it easy for visitors to a webpage to find what they are looking for in a timely fashion without frustration! The less a visitor has to do on a webpage, the happier they will be and it increases the chance that they will stick around and visit other pages or engage in marketing campaigns set forth throughout the website.
The actual design of the website should use patterns, words or design that capture the eye. This could range anywhere from a featured word or phrase against a simple background or a media-based component. Though some users might find an auto-playing video annoying, it does serve the purpose of capturing a user’s attention. The tone of content is also an important aspect in good web design. Use a tone that matches with your user demographics – keep it professional and informative without turning into a marketing pitch. Bold or italicized print is often overlooked and always be sure to break up blocks of writing with graphics or images – users don’t want to read large paragraphs on a website when they are searching for specific information.
Overall, a good web design is one that speaks to your users and keeps it simple – browsers are looking for information and want to find it quickly, so always choose clean and simple over complex!