Designing a great website can be a mind-numbing task, but not when you approach it the right way. Without a doubt, every designer employs a unique approach in as far as designing a website is concerned.
Nevertheless, they do have a common checklist that defines must have elements that every website should have. From great images and plenty of white spaces to simple navigation and clear calls to actions, web users expect to find these simple and common elements when it comes to navigating a site with ease.
Here are eight elements you should prioritise in website design:
In a great website design, space determines everything —from flow, to how readable your content is. Web designers are now using space in many ways we didn’t experience on the internet a few years ago. Site designs with massive spaces, more line spaces and general use of open space are on the rise.
Consistent element and line spacing are some of the significant spatial relationships you need to consider when designing a website. Use consistent spacing for similar elements. The amount of wrap space around images should also be consistent.
When creating a focal point in a design, space comes in handy. Images and texts tend to appear larger and more important when surrounded by white space as opposed to when they are jam-packed into a tiny or tighter section in the layout. It is important to emphasize that space need not to be necessarily white. In this case, space refers to absence of elements. It could also be a background image or a texture.
We humans love to see dynamic elements. In your website design incorporate spectacular visuals to attract web users to your site. You can achieve this by using great images or illustrations. Showcase your products, places or people with a set of stunning photographs to attract users to your site. Be careful not to use too many stock images. Instead, engage a good photographer or photo editor to come up with great custom made images for your site.
A few years ago, there were hardly many typefaces available. The only two options that were compatible with many computers and browsers were Arial and Courier. Things have changed over the years. Web fonts are no longer a limitation for web designers.
And while web fonts are still crucial especially for compatibility and licensing, using a web font service is comes in handy especially in search engine optimisation. You could perhaps begin with a free service such as Google Web Fonts to incorporate stunning fonts into your web pages designs without having to necessarily spend all your savings on licensing.
Web navigation should not be complex. Your website design should be easy to use. It should not overwhelm your users. Think five to ten items as the maximum number of items you want on the navigation menus depending on the site in question.
Your website design should also include navigation tools such as parallax scrolling which improves user experience. Include navigation features that lets users know where they are on the site as well as a way to go back home. People will interact more with your site if they find navigating through it is pure bliss!
Visible contact information
As a web designer, you need to appreciate that web patrons and surfers have a quite short attention span. With that in mind, the last thing you want to do is subject them to a virtual excavation in search of your contact info. Include a “contact us” button or link at a place that is easily accessible.
In most cases the contact us link is located in the upper right section of your site or in the main navigation tab. be sure to include vital contact information such as your email or your phone. You could also include Google map directions especially if you have a physical presence.
Content is king! Your content should provide real value to the user. Make sure it is not only interesting but also fresh, accurate, articulate and well-communicated. As mentioned earlier, we humans have a short attention span and nobody will wants to spend their time trying to figure out what you want to pass across.
So be clear and succinct. Spell your words correctly, make sure your sentences are grammatically correct, and be up-to-date with current trends in your industry. Adding fresh content will not only make your readers keep coming back for more but is also a great SEO strategy
We cannot emphasize enough on how important security is in as far as your website design is concerned. You need to use strong passwords for your account. Platforms such as WordPress and Magneto are continually updating their security features and so it makes a lot of sense to host your site with such platforms.
As a web designer, make sure to keep the platform up to date in order to stay away from security threats detected by other users and developers.
Call to Action (or Signup)
The fact is your website is a gateway to an action. You want to generate leads, or create awareness by providing essential information. Perhaps you want to gather contact information or make that very important conversion. Whatever the intent, you need to have concise call to action prompts that are obvious and strong.
You first need to define what you want to achieve with your site and then design it with the user in mind. Come up with techniques that will lead users to click the “right” buttons.
Apart from color and contrast which are great ways to make actions obvious, using a sign up form is yet another great call to action tool. Place such contact forms at a section that is easily accessible by the user. Size it prominently and make the form simple and quick to fill out.
There you have eight sure fire elements that you should include in your next web design to make your customers keep coming back for more. While there many other elements to effective web design out there, using these eight key elements can make all the difference.