When it comes to web design, there are a few golden rules to ensure your site and its content stays engaging and fresh. So many of these are the simplest of tweaks, but can make or break whether you captivate your audience…or not. It may sound simple after reading, but remember – it’s only simple when you know how and hindsight is 20/20! So without further ado, check out these easy and effective best working practices for your web design needs!
The power of always bearing in mind the people who will be drawn to your site is invaluable. As a professional web designer, it is crucial to remember that the end user may not have full comprehension of things that come naturally to you. Think of explaining Instagram to your sweet yet technophobic grandma, and you’re somewhere in the ballpark. You might be able to easily navigate stories and hashtags without issue, but Grandma may struggle with the unfamiliarity of it all. Web design works in a similar way. The things that are second nature to you as a designer, may leave the user lost and confused if your site is not laid out in a user-friendly fashion. When designing your website, always bear this in mind, and make sure you spare a thought for Grandma!
We have all been on a website that is so poorly laid out, it looks like an explosion in a mattress factory. Statistically, you have 15 seconds before a user leaves a site that does not engage them. If your site is a jumble of badly organised boxes, images and lost paragraphs that look thrown together, then guess what? Your audience won’t stick around and your bounce rate will skyrocket. Essentially, it is down to you to lead your viewers through your site in a simple and concise fashion, and not have them trying to navigate a jumbled maze of haphazardly scattered content.
Another critical yet often overlooked concept is the overuse of colours. Be it too many, or ones that clash so severely it would make Jackson Pollock cringe, these are two of the biggest issues that switch a user off from a site. It could be laid out beautifully, but if the colours are cause for a headache, as previously mentioned, your audience will leave. It is always sensible to stick to colours in line with your company branding, as this creates a more professional feel, rather than an atmosphere of chaos and disorganisation.
Very much in line with the use of colours, using too many fonts is another no-no. Both too many fonts, and them being too large or too small can be a sour point in the eyes of your audience. It is best to keep your font usage to a minimum, the advice being keeping it consistent throughout. Ideally you need one font of a set style and size for titles and paragraph headers, and then a different font and size for your body text. Again, this maintains a clean and sleek look, without users feeling as though they are having an impromptu eye test.
Whilst images are an absolute must for drawing the eye and breaking up text, don’t go overboard. Remember, it’s a website, not a comic strip. Keep them relevant to the subject matter, and don’t overpopulate your page. It is also worth noting that search engines struggle to read images, so they don’t have a huge impact on SEO. Image size is also important, so to ensure your page loading speed doesn’t suffer, try to keep them under 1 MB where possible.
With so much of our browsing done on the go and from a handheld device, it should come as no surprise that mobile functionality is huge when it comes to website success. Statistically, 57% of users will not use a website that doesn’t work on their phone. It might sound simple, but it is not enough for your website to look the part on a mobile device, it has to work correctly too. With many users surfing the web on the commute, having a great mobile version of your site is a brilliant way to ensure you don’t lose crowds who browse on the go.
You wouldn’t buy a car without seeing what it was capable of beforehand, so your website should be no different. This is a great way to catch any bugs in need of fixing before you roll out your impressive contribution to the webosphere to the general public. It is all about putting yourself in the shoes of those who will ultimately use your service.
Creating a stunning website is all about asking yourself some questions. Does it look good? Would I, as a user, find this easy to navigate? Does the site serve its purpose and help me reach my end goal? Do all it’s components work as they should? Can I use it anywhere I need to?
If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no’, then give the creative team at greensplash a call and we will turn those ‘no’s’ in to ‘yes’s’ If the answer to all of those questions is ‘yes’, then congratulations, you have a website that is ready to go!
For a free critique, and for any queries you may have regarding your web design, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!
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