Everyone must have tried painting at least once in their lifetime. If you can recall your painting experience, you would agree with the fact that merely possessing a canvas and some paints, doesn’t bring out the artist in you.
A great piece of art requires a clear vision of the desired results, an artistic aptitude, imagination, untiring efforts, and appropriate use of tools. The same principle applies to the websites as well. You need to use your knowledge and the available tools cleverly and intuitively to give your website a personality which can easily outshine other websites.
As you might be spending thousands of dollars in contracting out the task of website building and creating a dedicated space on the Internet, you need to be proactive and ensure that the golden rules of website designing are followed.
#1 Plan your Website
You know your business and targeted groups of customers better than anyone else, and hence, before getting into technicalities, get the basics right.
- Define your aspirations regarding your virtual storefront and set some realistic goals for the sales, email subscriptions, etc.
- Fix on the services and key points you want to highlight as it would determine the website structure as well as the number of pages.
Take your time as you cannot afford to miss the vital information and lose out on the chances of attracting your audience.
#2 Keep the layout simple and unique
The arrangement of the different elements, viz. menu bar, text, images, videos, Google map, call-to-action buttons, social media icons, margins, etc. has a large impact on the visitors.
You should use this fact to your advantage by creating a website layout that can present all the elements in a clean and vivid manner.
- Organize elements in such a way that even the most impatient users can comprehend your business ideology and products.
- Include whitespace strategically on all the pages of the website or else the readers might get baffled with the overload of content.
Think of the website layout as your wardrobe; all the site elements should get sufficient space and seem to be blended.
#3 Confirm that the design is responsive
Due to the progress in the technology, the desktop computer and laptop are not the only means, via which the Internet can be accessed.
The traffic on your website can come from various sources, such as the tablet, mobile phone, games console, eBook reader, smart TV and even wristwatch.
- Make the design of your website responsive and check it on every device type and screen size.
- Optimize sliders, images and other graphical elements to make them fit into the small screen sizes.
The browsing behaviour of the mobile phone users is different from PC users, for example, they zoom in on the centre of the page to find solutions to their problems, and so, the layout for the mobile version of the website should be created accordingly.
#4 Make the navigation smooth
The hierarchy in which the information is laid out on a website should be easy-to-follow, whether the user is an educated adult or a child.
- Categorize the web pages into the main menu and sub-menu options and see that the flow between them is understandable.
- The navigation options, i.e., pages should be given names or labels, which can give a clear idea to the readers.
The objective, here, is to enable the users to find the information they are searching for, in the least number of clicks. Integration of Search Box functionality can be useful for the websites which have a ton of information to share.
#5 Pick fonts and colours wisely
If you feel that wrapping paper is as important as a gift, it would not be difficult for you to understand the significance of fonts and colours in website designing.
- The font types and sizes should be in sync with the business offerings and branding so as to generate positive emotions in the readers.
- Every colour has a certain psychological impact on the viewer, and so, you should learn about the same before picking a colour scheme for your website.
Consider the following 2 examples –
If a website belongs to a medical practitioner, lawyer or a fitness expert, you should keep a distance from the bright or loud colours, such as dark blue, red, etc. and stick to the soft colours such as white, grey, light blue, etc.
If a website belongs to a fast-food delivery business, you can go for the bright yellow, bright orange, etc. and avoid warm hues.
#1 Don’t make your website slow
There must be websites ranked both below and above your website on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), and so, users can quickly jump to any other site, if any of your web pages, takes too long to load.
- Optimize images, videos, and other multimedia content for desktop, mobiles, and all other devices by editing and compressing them.
- You can test the speed of your website through free or paid tools and get an idea of what needs to be done for reducing the load time.
Studies have proved that the bounce rate has an upward trend for the websites whose load time is more than 3 seconds.
#2 Don’t let background overshadow everything
The background acts a serving plate for your website, and if, a plate is too eye-catching, people can overlook the taste of food.
Therefore, make sure that your website background exhibits a well-thought mixture of creativity and subtlety.
- Limit the visual elements, i.e., background images, videos, vectors, etc., as they can consume significant space on the files to be uploaded on the server and subsequently lower down the speed of your website.
- The background pattern should reflect your business type and strengthen the message you want to give to your readers.
- Maintain adequate colour contrast between text and the background to improve the readability factor of your website.
The foreground and background colour combinations can be checked with the help of some nice tools available in the market.
#3 Don’t overdo fonts and colours
The fonts and colours create an essence of your website and give off certain vibes to the viewers. By now, you must have borne in mind that you need to make an intelligent choice for the fonts and colours of your website.
But, one more point that you should consider here, is the number of fonts and colours.
- You should adhere to the practice of selecting only up to 3 to 4 font types and sizes as a lot of variation in the fonts can bewilder the users.
- Apply the above-mentioned rule while deciding the colour scheme also and see that the selected colours complement each other.
Experiment with the fun fonts and colours and try out different combinations, but, not at the cost of the professional look of a website.
#4 Don’t cross ethical boundaries
Even if you are tempted to increase the traffic and conversion rates of your website, by resorting to the unethical practices, you should steer clear of them.
- The content of the web pages doesn’t have to be stuffed with keywords as it would not only get you criticism but also penalization from Google.
- You might find some wonderful pieces of content on the web, but never copy them and paste on your website as plagiarism is highly frowned upon.
- The images you upload on your website should not infringe copyright owned by any other individual, business or community.
- Though testimonials are believed to inspire trust, users in today’s time are smart enough to distinguish between real and fake client testimonials.
Writing content and creating images may be time-consuming and hassling activities, but hard work certainly pays off.
#5 Don’t snatch the power from users
One of the motivating forces behind designing a delightful website is gaining the confidence of existing and potential customers.
You need to make users feel that your website is created for them by making the browsing and scanning comfortable.
- The feature of ‘Hijack Scrolling’ is a big ‘No’ as most of the users would not like the scrolling to behave in an unexpected manner.
- If you are keen to add depth to your website through ‘Parallax Effect’, don’t move forward without learning its pros and cons.
- Make it evident to the users by some sort of visual cues, such as arrows, etc., that your website has horizontal scrolling.
Don’t hesitate to check other websites for their scrolling and navigation pattern to pick the best features for your site.
Hope, you enjoyed reading this blog! Next week, we will show you another Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts which need to be followed in Website Designing. Till then, just remember – “An amazing website does not mean shiny images or overwhelming textures; it means superb user experiences”.