Usability and utility determine the success or failure of a website, not the visual design. The visitor of the page is the only person who clicks and decides everything. User-centric design is considered more effective and successful to make a profit-oriented web design. After all, if users face problems using a feature it might as well not even exist.
We are not going to discuss the details of design implementation(e.g. Where to put the search box or call to action button ) but give you a basic idea of a good website design. In this article, we are going to discuss the main principles, approaches, and heuristics for making a good website design.
Before diving into the principles we need to understand how the users think and interact with a website. Then we need to find out what are the basic patterns of their behavior. As long as we are trying to catch the attention of the user we need to think about their thinking pattern that will make our work much more easier. What are our users thinking?
Users' habits on the web are different from customer’s habits in a store. They glance at each new page, scan the texts of a website, click on the first link that attracts them first or catches their interest. There may be a large part of the content available on the website they don't even look at. Users always search for something interesting and clickable. They click on the promising candidates.
Users love quality and credibility. If a website presents good quality content the users are ready to compromise with the advertisement and the design of the site. This is why a not-well-designed website having good quality content can draw a good amount of traffic. Basically, a user searches for integrity, trust, reliability, authentication, website reputation, and most of all commitment. Keeping that in mind we should consider these aspects in making a good website design.
Users analyze a web page first and they search for some fixed points which can guide them to their desired content. They don’t love to spend most of the time searching in a website. While scanning he decides where to click and where not to. Step by step we will try to guide you how you can attract your viewer.
Usually, a web user looks for an easy way to reach his desired content. If he finds it complicated then surely he is not going to stay on that particular web page for long. That means the designer has failed to grab his attention to his site. So, we need to make it as simple as possible. Think from the visitor's end, if you were a visitor what would you have done? If a user takes 10 seconds to visit a website then you need to make sure you can keep him visiting for a long.
Users don't search for the quickest way to find information neither do they scan a web-page in a linear fashion going from one section to another one sequentially. Instead the users are satisfied; they choose the first reasonable option for them. As soon as they find a link that looks like it might lead to the goal, there is a definite possibility that he will click on it.
Users muddle through instead of reading in most of the cases. According to Steve Krug who is a well known computer programmer best known for his book ‘Don’t make me think’ which is human-computer interaction and web usability says that, the basic reason
for that is users don't care. He says,’’ If we find something that works, we stick to it .’’That means he will definitely leave if he don’t find something that will work for him.
Users love to have control over their browser. It is annoying to them when a new pop-up window opens up unexpectedly and he can't get back to his previous page. At that time they want to get back to his previous page by clicking the back button. Therefore, we need to ensure never opening links in new browser windows.
Many websites are seen as overdesigned and there are too many elements on the page that distracts visitors from the purpose of the site. In creating an effective website design, simplicity rules. A clean and clear, fresh design makes a site easier to navigate but the aesthetics are more appealing. It is unnecessary to create a website with a whole lot of design that does not even serve the purpose. This always distracts your visitors.
Your website needs to fulfill the needs of the user. Firstly you will need to think of what is The purpose of your website? Is it an entertainment website or are you selling a product or services? There are many different purposes a website can have. But there are some core purposes common to all websites.
To ensure a good user experience and usability your website needs to be simple. The more simple it is the more traffic would be engaged to your site. Making it easy for the user is one of the most important basic principles. To achieve simplicity through design below are ways that you can consider:
Colour has the power to communicate messages. It is the color that will first attract your user or customer. Keeping that in mind the color selection for your website should be limited to less than 5 colors. Complimentary color also works well. Soothing color arrangement increases customer engagement and makes the user feel good.
Typography has a vital part to play in a website. To command attention and work as the visual interpretation of the brand's voice well-designed typography is a must. You should keep in mind that your typefaces should be legible and you should use a maximum of 3 different fonts on your website.
Imagery is every visual aspect used within communications. This includes still photography, illustration, video and all forms of graphics. The imagery which we will use in a website should be expressive and can capture the spirit of the company. It should also act as the embodiment of their brand personality. Most of the initial information we consume on a website is visual which creates first impression. So, you should confirm that your image quality is great, otherwise, it will fail to create a good impression in your user’s mind.
Navigation is the way to find systems on websites. Through navigation, visitors interact and search for what they are looking for. A confusing website distracts visitors. If users become confused they will give up and find what they are searching for elsewhere. The acritical aspect of website design is site navigation. When a visitor comes to a new page he scans the website and searches for links to pages where he wants to be. For example, if a person is searching for a smartphone on a site then he will search for a button that says smartphones. In this case, that particular website will definitely need to put up a button according to its customer or viewer’s choice. Experts suggest keeping navigation simple, intuitive, and consistent. Simple navigation guides the user without any problem, he finds it easy. The ‘‘keep it simple’’-principle (KIS) always works better. While building a website logical and simple navigation is the key.
Eye-tracking studies found that the pattern of reading in a website is F-shaped. This is the most common way for visitors to scan text. Researchers also found that people see the top and left areas of the screen. The natural pattern of our reading is left to right and top to bottom. An effective website will work well if they keep in their mind the pattern of reading of their user.
The arrangement of elements in order of importance is called visual hierarchy. This can be done either by size, color, imagery, contrast, whitespace, typography, texture and style. Establishing a focal point where the most important information is to be found is the most important function.
Your website needs to be locatable using Google or any other search engine. Suppose you are selling a car or promoting cars; when a person searches for cars in Google or anything related to query your needs to be in the top 5 of the SERP( search engine related pages ). This allows you to find your website easily and also can engage more traffic into your website.
Use attractive content on your website. You should use compelling language to attract and influence visitors and to convert them into your customers. At the end of the day we are targeting users to come to our website and to attract them good content will serve the purpose. There is a saying, ‘‘If the content is king, consistency is queen .’’Good content connects users to your website and if you are uploading good content with consistency then there is a definite possibility of having your website ranked in the top 10 in search engines.
A grid-based layout helps to align elements on the screen on the page to keep it clean. To arrange content into a clean rigid structure with columns the grid-based layout should be the choice. Sections that line up and feel balanced and suppose order and results in an aesthetically pleasing website will definitely serve the purpose of your website.
Visitors hate to wait. They generally expect to load a site in 2 seconds or less. If a site is not loaded within 3 seconds the visitor will probably leave the site. Optimizing image sizes will help to load your site faster. So, we should keep in mind that our load time should be faster.
Day by day the number of mobile users is increasing. Most of the users use the web through mobile. So it is definite to create a mobile-friendly website that can interact with users easily. It is important to consider building your website with a responsive layout. Not only mobiles, but day-by-day technology is also presenting us with new devices. I-pad, Smartphones, Tabs and many more devices are found in the market which is used by the customer. There are multifarious types of screens nowadays. Make sure your website can adjust to different screens.
So, here we are. Not only these principles for website design can aid in user traffic, but they can also make your website user-friendly and well functioning. Ultimately applying some simple concepts can bring the success you want for your website.
Still, do you think you need additional help to make a good website design? Feel free to contact Softopark IT Ltd we are always here to give you the best support.