The Fundamentals of Good Website Design

Nowadays, simply owning a website isn’t enough. If you are trying to project your business online and expect real benefits from your investment, then your website might as well be a storefront on a busy high street. Left blank, unkempt or outdated and no one comes in. The same goes for your website.

Good design is a necessity now and having a website sub-par in this area is only going to damage your business’ credibility and make your site not only useless, but turn it into a negatively affecting aspect of your business.

So what does effective website design include?

Here we’ll run through the fundamentals of good website design and show you how a professional job makes all the difference in drawing in potential customers and developing business.

  1. Purpose

What is your website for?

Users will lose interest very quickly if your website is confusing or lacking a clear purpose. Haphazard design distracts attention from what your website is really for, whether it is information, entertainment or to transact with your business.

Good web design means each page will have a clear purpose and fulfill a specific need for your website users in the most effective way possible.

  1. Communication

People surfing the internet nowadays want information quickly. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span online has declined from 12 seconds to 8 over the past 6 years. That means your website has roughly 8 seconds to make an impact before the viewer loses interest.

The solution? Cut down on the waffle and check your formatting. That means simple typefaces in easily readable sizes. Get rid of chunky paragraphs and use bullet points and subheadings wherever you think you can slim down the prose.

  1. The Look

This is the first thing viewers are going to see when they visit your website. Before they have read anything, it is the look of the website that’s recognised instantly and in that instant they can decide whether they like the look of it or not.

Use colour palettes that compliment each other for balance and work with contrasts to make reading easier on the eye. Save vibrant colours for call to actions and utilise negative space to make your site feel less cluttered.

Images and videos are just as important too. Not only do they make for a less wordy and more attractive experience, but they also help with brand positioning and in appealing to your target audience. Put together in the right way these aspects can be more effective in communication than even the most well written piece of text.

  1. The Feel

Another fundamental element is the overall feel of the website. One of the most irritating things a site can be is difficult to travel through and sure enough if it is then you can say goodbye to potential customers.

Instead of throwing content around at random, utilise grid layouts and put some real time and thought into how your website will be navigated.

Tips such as the ‘three click rule’ set out that users should be able to find the information they want within three clicks. Coupled with simple grid based layouts to arrange content into neat sections, your website should feel natural to use and balanced.

  1.  Load Time

According to studies on internet usage, a page that takes 6 seconds to load will experience a 50% loss in conversion. So if you happen to be on the wrong side of 6 seconds for the loading of your website, then you can do the maths on how that’s going to affect your business.

Tips to make page load times more effective include optimising image sizes (size and scale), combining code into a central CSS or JavaScript file (this reduces HTTP requests) and minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript (compressed to speed up their load time).

If this sounds like a bit of a mouthful, then don’t worry, it is. Good website design isn’t achieved in seconds. Thankfully, that’s what DIFM (Do-It-For-Me) providers like SoleTrader.com do best, tailoring their service to small businesses that feel they don’t have the time or expertise to get it done themselves.

  1. Mobile Friendly

It is now commonplace to access websites from multiple devices with multiple screen sizes, so it is important to consider if your website is mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly, you can either rebuild it in a responsive layout (this means your website will adjust to different screen widths) or you can build a dedicated mobile site (a separate website optimised specifically for mobile users).

To Summarise…

Stick to these fundamentals and you can be confident that your website will look great and engage your visitors. But don’t be fooled that this is something you can do in an afternoon. Website design requires patience, determination and some tech know-how.

That’s where SoleTrader.com comes in. Taking the weight of everything mentioned in this post off of your shoulders, they can build you a website in no more than 15 minutes, fully functioning and with the fundamentals of good website design at it’s core. Not to mention unlimited updates and close-knit customer support at all times. You can call 0203 411 0812 or visit http://www.soletrader.com to get started today.

 

By Oliver Roche

For regular updates just follow us on Twitter @SoleTraderWeb and Facebook @soletraderwebsites

 

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