Before you are ready to dive into your next web design project, considers the things you can do to improve your strategies and compete with today’s online market. These simple “dos and don’ts” target some of the best website design practices including planning, layout, images, and content. Each project is an opportunity to improve and stay relevant in today’s dynamic web industry.
Always have a planning process before you jump into designing your website. This will get all the important pieces into place and will save you time in the end.
- Set goals that you want your website to achieve and have them relate to what user want to accomplish on your website
- Decide who your target audience is and design for their user experience
- Set up a design brief with your client to make sure you are both on the same page for this project
- Never make an acceptation to skip the planning process!
- Choose an audience that is too generic… Think of 3 types of users you want to attract and be specific… How old are they? What do they do? What are they looking for on your website?
The hardest part of design is formatting a layout that is engaging but also intuitive for web users. Users should never be more than 3 clicks away from the task they are trying to achieve or page they are trying to view. The 3 most common website tasks are by users who want to: know something, buy something, or get somewhere
- Have a clear brand logo or website title in your header. People want to be sure they landed on the right website
- Be consistent with your navigation. Name your pages with simple titles, so users know what to expect from each page
- Set up clear call to action buttons to guide the user throughout the site
- Play with colour, contrast, and scale to transform your look
- Avoid clutter. Too much information on one site without an obvious hierarchy will confuse the user
- Stay away from flashy animations, especially with home page introductions… Think of how many times have you clicked the “skip intro” button!
Visuals set the tone of your brand and give lasting impressions on the type of product/service you offer. Think of how your images will be perceived visually and psychologically.
- Find photos that reinforce the message you are trying to send and are relevant to your company
- Make sure they are optimized for the web to decrease loading times
- If possible, include photos of your employees, products, or location to increase the credibility on your website
- Avoid cheesy stock photography
- Place low resolution photos on your website
Make sure your website is easy to scan. A user should be able to get the information they need quickly and without reading essays of text.
- Write in short snippets of information
- Use lists when you can to break up chunks of texts
- Have a clear hierarchy of what is most important on each page
- Get to the point! Avoid sentences with too much “fluff”
- Have too many paragraphs of text at once
- Avoid writing going across the full length of the page
Remember to keep editing and get feedback on all aspects of your website project. When in doubt… Sleep on it!
Not sure if your website supports the best online practices? Contact us today and see how we can help!