25 Jun 6 Tips for Designing A Website
So you want, no need a website for your business or your brand. But how should it look? You want people to actually like the website and ultimately your business so it has to look good. Whether you will be designing the website yourself or if you plan on hiring a web designer, there are a few things you can do to make sure your site looks great.
Embrace the white space
Having too many ads, banners, icons, badges, signs, pop-ups, buttons– can get to be a little bit overwhelming for your website’s visitors. Instead of hounding them with calls-to-action, give your potential customers a break from all the noise and clutter. Embrace the white space on your website. This simple technique can drastically improve visitors’ experience. Opt for a simple layout which will help keep readers interested. Too many elements, images, colors and different shapes on a single page can make your site look more like an infomercial than a reputable business’ website. Aim for a minimalistic feel, and only spotlight your most important content. Start thinking of every detail of your website, including the margins, header, footer, menus, images and captions, etc. Think about all of these elements and leave more space between them. Do this with the goal of creating something elegant and clear while improving user experience. Take a look at some high end luxury brands’ websites for inspiration, such as Louis Vuitton. Sometimes less really is more.
Consider the Visual Hierarchy
Visual Hierarchy means that our eyes pay attention to web space in a certain pattern. Following that pattern can help you optimize important content on your site. Recent studies have shown that people first scan a page to get a sense of whether they are interested, before committing to read it. Scanning patterns tend to take one of two shapes, “F” and “Z”. When designing your website you should take advantage of this when laying out your content.
F-patterns apply to traditional, text-heavy pages like articles or blog posts. A reader scans down the left side of the page, looking for interesting key words in left-aligned headings or initial topic sentences, then stopping and reading (to the right) when he or she comes to something interesting. Incorporate this on your website by aligning your important information left and making use of short, bolded headlines, bullet points and other such attention-grabbers to break up paragraph blocks.
Z-patterns apply to other sorts of pages, like product pages, where information is not necessarily presented in block paragraphs. A reader’s eye first scans across the top of the page, where important information is likely to be found, then shoots down to the opposite corner at a diagonal and does the same thing across the lower part of the page. Web designers commonly construct their pages to conform explicitly to this behavior, placing the most important information in the corners and orienting other important information along the top and bottom bars and connecting diagonal. By incorporating these two techniques into your web design you will help your website visitors to navigate your website, and increase the amount of time that they stay on your website and ultimately, purchase what you’re selling.
Make sure your text is easy to read
Select a font type and size that is easy to read. If readers have to squint to read it, they probably wont. Also, select a color pallet with complimentary colors. You can use a tool like Palletton to identify colors that will work best together http://paletton.com/ You should select three complimentary colors for your websites, and stick to them throughout the website. You should also select two to three fonts that you will consistently use as a brand. When choosing your fonts, remember that not everyone will be visiting your website from a computer. In fact, most people will probably be visiting your website from their mobile device. Some fonts may not translate well from a computer to a mobile, losing the desired look and feel. Make sure you use a universal font. When choosing a pair of fonts, the most important thing to consider is how they work together. “Are they similar enough?” “Too similar?” “Not different enough?” All these are questions you should be asking yourself. The best way to choose a pair of fonts that works is to just put a lot of them side by side and decide on the best.
Use professional images
Invest in professional photography or purchase professional stock photos if you don’t have photos for your website. Good photographs capture your visitors’ attention and provide an emotional connection to the written content. Poor quality images or images that have nothing to do with your message, on the other hand, are worse than having no images at all. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but some words are more relevant than others. This should go without saying, but you need to use photos that have something to do with whatever you’re selling. If the picture creates excitement or interest, then it works. Consider these three elements when selecting photos: Emotional appeal – does the product in the picture look good and make the user want it? Rational appeal – does the image show the benefits of the product? and Brand appeal – does the picture fit your brand?
Respect the fold
This means that your most important content should be visible as soon as your homepage loads, without the user scrolling down the page. Studies have shown that a majority of people spend most of their time above the fold on web pages. In order to increase the effectiveness of your website, have the main content and call-to-action elements above the fold. You can do something as simple as shortening the header height if you have a logo and a navigation menu at the top of your website. Keep your menu fairly simple and don’t overwhelm visitors with too many menu options. Highlight the most important pages and use sub menus to keep your navigation clean. Design your website around this concept with your best and most appealing attributes shown in this area to entice readers to continue to scroll down to the content below the fold. If you place boring, dull, or misleading content above the fold, chances are your readers will leave the page without scrolling to the rest of your content.
Make your design flat
Flat design is more about focusing on usability in design. Your web design should be crisp and clear. That can only be achieved without 3D effects. Flat websites load faster than websites that feature animations and complex graphics. The idea is to remove all distracting design elements and really focus on the content and your users’ goals. Flat web design is more efficient. Because there are less distractions, a user’s line of sight is directly drawn to the essential parts of your website. Not only will this help you reach your goals, but you will be able to do so in less time. Use visual cues, such as color and typography to guide your users and help draw them to what you want them to do. If any aspect of your web design does not a particular functional purpose, it is a distraction from your overall user experience. Flat design is minimalistic in nature. Also, flat designed websites can easily be adjusted to various screen sizes. With mobile devices gaining more and more traction as web browsing tools, this is a huge advantage for website owners targeting both desktop and mobile users.
While every website and business needs are unique, these tips are things you should keep in mind when designing your business’ website. You want your users to have the best experience while on your website, because this will covert to the most sales. If you will be designing your site yourself, it make take a little trial and error to achieve the best look, but the more you work on it, the better the site will get. If you plan on hiring a professional web designer, they should be able to give you the best advice for what your website needs. By incorporating these six tips into the design of your next website you ensure that you things you can do to make sure your site looks great.