For many people nowadays a website is your storefront, it’s like walking into a hotel lobby – it sets the tone and the first impression which can make the difference between someone staying and leaving your website; same as you would when walking into a hotel lobby. You could sell the best products but if it doesn’t look like you do, then according to the customer you don’t unless proven otherwise! So it is important that you nail your website – especially your home page.
- Guiding attention
Websites are all about content and information and you want to make sure that your content and information is seen (and understood) by your website users. Have you ever noticed how websites put their logos at the top? Reason for that is that it’s like looking at a calendar, you want to know its April you are looking at – same with a website, you want to know what you are looking at. Next you should focus on guiding attention to your other content though aspects such as: position, colour, size and design elements. Simple examples are using bold, colour, SIZE or even simple things like arrows and images. These are all features that should be present in your web design.
- S p a c i n g your content out.
Firstly just putting a space between lines can make paragraphs far more readable – I remember when I had to write my personal statement for university applications and our admissions tutors were adamant that we sacrifice 5-7 lines of potential content to make it look nicer and more presentable. This applies to good web design too, because people tend to skim read, so using spacing; even plain white space to highlight important parts (see what I did there!) will help you to ensure that your website visitors are more likely to see and read what you want them to.
- Website navigation ß à.
It is so frustrating if you are on a website and you can’t find what you want or you end up going to places where you don’t want to be – almost like having a dodgy map. This can be more common with amateur websites because as the website gets bigger, busier, and more content and more tabs, it becomes more and more confusing. To solve this just get yourself a good navigation bar – and I mean it, a good one! If you make getting around your website easy and a breeze, your users will get to see more of your content – simple! There are some fantastic web design packages out there that come up with some very creative website navigation solutions and it’s definitely worth investing in if you have a lot if content and pages.
- Site usability
People tend to have a lot of views on the importance of site usability. I do agree that a lot of people are very internet-savvy and can make their way around a website and find what they want if they really want to but then again we go back to my example about the hotel lobby – you want to set a standard! First-rate web design can be used to incorporate features that make the usability of the site much better – one of my personal favourites being a navigation bar that moves. If you are scrolling down a web page and you want to go to another tab or piece of content of that website, it is a bit annoying to have to scroll all the way to the top and then click on it. Yea okay sure, it’s not really a problem per-se, but it’s convenient! It just makes the webpage so much more user friendly and gives a professional image – and that is what you want your website to do, give a professional first impression and image or your business!