Websites are now an integral part of business and as such, getting the design right is paramount in harnessing the full potential of the online world. However, in an expanding landscape, trying to nail your design can often seem daunting and tricky. What follows are ten top tips for getting your website design right.
Provide or ask for a top-quality website design brief. The job of the designer is to realize the goals of the client in creating a site that does what they want it to do. So what is it you want your to site to do? Be clear on this point, and try and avoid generalizations, have specific objectives that you want to achieve. Both sides of the project, designer and client, should be aware at each stage of the particular aims.
The design of your site should match the expected functions of your site. It should be immediately clear to visitors of the page what it is for and what you can offer to them.
3. Manage Expectations
The designer is an expert of the digital medium, in translating ideas into practical working ideas online. The client is full of enthusiasm at the prospect of their new web presence and what it can do for their business. Both sides need to be clear on what is possible during the project. This relates back to the first point; communicate realistic goals, with realistic timeframes.
4. Use your Brand
Your page should strongly reflect your brand and its recognizable traits. If you have a recognizable logo, place it prominently on your homepage for people to see. Who does your brand appeal to? Does your design capture your target audience?
5. Test it in different browsers, on different devices
Different browsers can cause hassle in website design. Test your design in the most widely used browsers to check it looks good in them all. It will seriously impair the usefulness of your site if it looks great in one browser, but distinctly average in all the others. And how does your site look on tablets and smartphones? Will it look as good as desktop access?
6. Have a clear user journey (lead them to your goal)
Does your design make it easy for visitors and customers to navigate the site? Is it easy to find the products and services they require? From beginning to end, is it clear what the site is for and how the visitor can best use it?
7. Show some personality
“A strong archetype can create an immediate and powerful emotional bond” By creating consistent characteristics and traits in your design, you will help people to connect with your brand. What is your company’s personality; does your design reflect these traits?
8. Make it easy to update
This article on web design outlines some basic tips for website design, and makes the point that a site needs to be valued by its visitors, and says “why would anyone want to stick around on a site that even the owner doesn’t care for?” – a very valid point! The web changes all the time, and your design needs to reflect this. An out-of-date site will not inspire confidence in your brand. Use an HTML validator and link checker to maintain your pages.
9. Consider a mobile site
Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of modern life, and are a primary source of web access for many people now. Does your site attract a high volume of mobile traffic? If so, it is really worth considering designing a separate mobile site to fully engage the strengths of these devices and make sure your site makes an impact across a range of platforms.
10. Make a good first impression
This might seem an obvious point, but it is worth repeating the maxim that first impressions count. From basic points like making your typography fit the audience and getting your contrast right so the page is easy to read, a great website design should be simple in communicating its goals and grab the user right from the start.
If you’re thinking of designing your business website, please contact me or call me at 831 346 3618.