A website that has been well designed will enable end users to quickly and efficiently find what they are looking for, shining a positive light on your business. When designing a website, you want to do it with the user and Search Engines in mind, as it’ll ensure the overall success of the site.
Below are some tips that you may want to keep in mind when putting together your site.
1. Have an Objective for Your Site
What would you like your website to do? What objectives have you laid out for it? This may seem obvious, but a great many websites fail, primarily because these objectives are not carefully mapped out during design. In general, you’ll find that companies use their sites for the following purposes:
- To sell a product or service.
- To establish company branding.
- To build a customer base.
- To communicate company information.
What you’ll want to do is assign points to each objective, based on how important it is. This will help you better prioritise your objectives, so that your website is designed around what’s most important. Understanding your company’s objective is crucial when it comes to designing your site, as it’s always instrumental in its success.
2. Incorporate Good Navigation Methods
The best web designers know that the design of the site is very important, as it ensures that the end user is able to get around the site. Sub-sections that have been clearly differentiated, along with site maps, can all help improve the navigational path of the user. While good use of colours, positioning, size and contrast helps keep the users eyes focused. Try to stick with a single navigational menu, and make sure the site is consistent all around, use sub-navigation if you have to, but try to avoid too many drop down menus.
3. Make It Personal
You want to build customer trust, so try to include photographs and testimonials from people. You’ll also want to include your phone number and address on your contact page. People want to feel closer to you, and having such information on the site, makes that so.
4. Focus on Site Conversions
A web visitor can become a customer in a number of ways. They could decide to purchase a service or product, join your mailing list or acquire additional information from you. In other situations they can request a bid, download a white paper, or sign up for notifications and discounts. Through site interaction, your visitors take the first steps before becoming a full-blown customer. Businesses such as caterers, resorts or homebuilders make use of their sites for showcasing their services or to close sales. Some sites are put up solely for the purpose of generating qualified customers. A successful site is one that provides the end user with the information that they seek, while generating the response that they are looking for, at every junction leading up to a sale.
5. Be Consistent
Visitors want to be able to track their location within a site, which makes consistency of style important, as you do not want your pages to change dramatically across the site as this could put off visitors. Make sure the site is consistent all-around, you want everything to match, from font usage, to colours, images, heading sizes and style.
6. Make It Clear
Most visitors that come to your site will be impatient; most will not have much time to waste, so you’ll want to make everything easy to understand; from the navigation menu to the articles. There are several design techniques that you can adopt to make your articles easier to read, such as short sentences, large font, sections separated by using colour and the effective utilisation of white space. There are several rules of thumb that you should always keep with you, these are:
- Never use more than three font styles.
- Never use more than three font sizes.
- Keep your lines of text to no more than 18 words.
7. Use Conventions
For example, you’ll want to use underlined text when linking, and ensure your logo always links back to the homepage. Site visitors have certain expectations which they have picked up through the visitation of many websites. Thus, you want to learn about all these expectations and implement them into your website.
8. Consider Usability
If you have a website that isn’t very usable, then your visitors will leave as quickly as they arrive. So when working on your site, you want to consider the end user at every turn.
It might be a good idea for you to create a list of all the things you think the user would expect when visiting your website, and then ensure that your site features all of it, and that its easy for the end user to use said features on your site, such as, book an opponent, make a bid, start shopping, etc. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to continue to test and fine tune. The only real way to test the user-friendliness of your website is to get real people to use it and get feedback from them.