A good design is one of the most important elements of a website. A design that’s visually appealing, professional looking and easy to navigate can greatly increase the amount of time visitors spend on your website — as well as how likely they’ll be to revisit in the future. Unfortunately, websites aren’t always as user-friendly as customers would like.
From text that’s difficult to read to layouts that don’t display correctly on mobile devices, many website designs aren’t doing their business any favors. As most regular internet users know, there are a lot of bad websites out there. Even major companies’ websites sometimes leave a lot to be desired.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of strategies for making your website more appealing to customers. You don’t necessarily have to be a coding expert to understand them, either. Here are some of the most effective tips for a great website.
Information overload is a constant reality in our perpetually connected lives. We have status updates, text messages and emails coming at us from all directions, but that doesn’t mean we enjoy being bombarded with information. Too many websites try to say everything at once by over stimulating their visitors.
They’re afraid they’ll lose viewers’ attention if they don’t. However, it’s possible to give a lot of information and be visually stimulating without overwhelming viewers. This sleek design does a great job of balancing lots of content with some blank space here and there.
Tweak Your Typography
In general, website text should be no less than an 11 pt. font. Sans serif typefaces are also typically easier to read on a screen. In addition, you should space your text so that there are about 15 to 20 words per line.
Use High-Quality Images
These days, there’s really no excuse for using generic or poor quality images. They don’t just look bad — they can also make your company seem unprofessional. For the best quality images possible, you can hire a professional designer or photographer. However, if you’re strapped for cash, you can subscribe to one of the many stock photo sites out there.
Use Responsive Design
People have been browsing the internet from a variety of different sized devices for some time now, but many websites fail to recognize that. Often, websites display different versions of the site if you’re using a mobile device or a computer. The mobile versions are usually limited, which is frustrating if you primarily browse the internet from a smartphone or tablet. As a result, more and more businesses are deciding to use responsive page designs, which automatically adjust to the browser you’re using. Here are a few examples of sites with responsive design in case you aren’t familiar with the term.
Have Logical Navigation
Internet users have come to expect certain parts of a website to be in certain places. The menu bar with links to other parts of the site is often at the top. If you depart from visitors’ expectations too much, they’ll probably get frustrated and leave.
Use Your Logo
Your website is a great branding opportunity because this is how many viewers will encounter and learn about your company. Your logo should be immediately visible when visitors enter the site. One of the upper corners is usually a good bet. It’s also a good idea to make the logo a link to your home page for easy navigation.
Be Smart About Videos
Flash really is a thing of the past for modern websites. It loads slowly and doesn’t do anything to help with SEO. Also, Flash is incompatible with many Apple products. Instead of adding Flash, use HTML5 to code your website and you can embed video right in the code. YouTube is a famous example of a site that uses HTML5 videos.
Consider Your Colors
The right color scheme can really help your site look unified and visually appealing. With some sites like Pictaculous you can even generate a color scheme around an image you plan to use. Strategic use of color can also help you guide readers to important information. A dash of color in a headline or surrounding your contact information really can help these items pop. This site is a great example of one that effectively uses color to direct readers.
Prominently Display Relevant Information
Not being able to find what you’re looking for can be one of the most frustrating things for internet users. To make sure you don’t alienate visitors, put the most important information in places where users can see it easily. This is usually near the top of the page.
Test and Retest
What looks right to you may not look good to a customer. This is why it’s so important for your web design to undergo several rounds of testing. Getting feedback not only from your co-workers but all friends, family and other unbiased viewers will greatly improve your finished product.
By following these ten simple tips, your website will look better than ever in no time!