Key Elements for Effective Web Design
In order to make sense of your online investment, you must focus your attention on web design and development because this is the foundation of your online presence. The effectiveness of your website and how well it serves your target audience can best be judged by the site visitors. There are lots of factors affecting the usability of your website including its appearance and functionality.
Websites not well designed give a poor user experience leading to low pages per visit, high bounce rates, and low time on site, and ultimately low conversions which significantly affect the success of your online venture. The question that needs to be answered is – What makes a good web design? This article explores the top principles that will enhance your web aesthetics, making it easy to use, effective and engaging to your site visitors.
The Visual Appeal of Your WebDesign
The appearance of your website is very important because it reflects your brand, your products and your services. A polished, professional and visually appealing website will give your customers both existing and potential an impression that they will carry in their minds long after the site visit. This increases chances of repeat visits and purchases. As businesses populate the web, your main challenge is to remain attractive so as to keep users attention focused on your brand and products. To achieve visual appeal, the following are some of the elements you may consider.
The Colour Scheme – Good choice of colour will provide a proper tone or mood for your business. Your colour scheme should contain two or three primary colours that blend well with your theme to avoid distraction from the written content.
Easy to Read Text – The most conservative text presentation that makes it simple and legible for your visitors is black text against a white background. However, this does not deter you from trying out other combinations as long as the contrast created is within the acceptable and appropriate range. The fonts you use should be easy to read on screen with different sizes and resolutions. Font size of between 10 and 12 pts is excellent for most people.
Meaningful Graphical Outlay – In web designing, the inclusion of graphics is very important because it lends visual appeal and variety to web pages. However, the use of graphics should be moderated to ensure they add meaning to the written content. As a rule of thumb, do not add more than three or four images per page.
Content gives substance to your site and complements your style. Without relevant and informative content, your audience cannot make a decision hence making your website of little use to them. Content increases visitor confidence and adds credibility to your company. There are a few guidelines to effective content development:
Good Content Organization – The length of your web copies should be moderate to avoid readers abandoning your articles halfway through. Break your text into small sized paragraphs so that you can catch the attention of your site visitors. Remember you have less than 10 seconds to create an impression in the minds of your visitors before they leave for another site. Therefore, be concise, clear and compelling.
Regular Content Update – Both your visitors and search engines value regularly updated content. Static content shows lack of progress and interest in the area in which your business is focused. Ensure your content is error free and cross checked for typos and grammatical errors.
Customer-Oriented Content – The manner in which you write your content will determine how your users will respond. Your content should be conversational and focused on your visitors instead of your products and services. Multimedia Content including snappy videos, animated banners and other interactive content can add to your website’s interest quotient and help retain your visitors for longer periods on your site. You need to be careful so that you do not overwhelm your users with rich media that they are not interested in.
Present your content in downloadable forms such as PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, PDFs particularly for users who cannot stay longer on your site. This will enable them to carry along the content for future consumption.
Functionality and Usability in Web Design
For optimal user experience, you must ensure that your site works quickly and correctly. Poorly constructed and broken components will frustrate your visitors leaving them disillusioned about your company. Make sure your hyperlinks, contact forms and navigation buttons work as expected.
A simple website with good, valuable and well organized content can help glue your customers on your site for longer. The pages should be loading fast to minimize bounce rates. An average page takes about 10 seconds to load or even more via dial-up. Linking your home page with the rest of the pages will minimize scrolling and enhance navigation around and about your site. Search engine robots crawl the web regularly and they use links as their pathways. This means putting in place appropriate links on your site will earn you rewards on search engines.
Your site layout is absolutely critical as a usability factor. A consistent layout with certain elements repeated throughout the site gives it a uniformity that centres on your theme and overall message.
Usability testing reveals that long link text is descriptive and makes it easier for your visitors to move around your site. Search engines also favour long descriptive link text. Where necessary, you can use a site map and breadcrumbs to give your users a sense of direction and prevent them from feeling lost.
As part of functionality and usability, you should test your site for compatibility across the different browsers available. At a minimum, test it for the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
Search Engine Optimized Design
You should also minimize the use of tables and maximise on cascade style sheets (CSS) for your positioning and layout. Your code should be clutter free to enhance search engine indexing and crawling of search engine spiders.
With Google incorporating mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, you have to ensure that your website can be accessed through multiple devices with different screen sizes and resolutions.
Vogue Web Services is a professional web design company with years of experience developing responsive and mobile-friendly websites for our clients. We have a variety of web development services that our clients can choose from. You can never go wrong with our time-tested and proven skills in web design!