What Are The Elements Of Good Website Design?
Your website is your business online, so when looking at a website design, ask yourself How do you want your business to be portrayed to visitors?
Apart from providing information about your business, the services you provide or products you have for sale, how to find or contact you, Is there a goal? In other words, after people have found your website, What would you like them to do?
Good website design addresses that fundamental question by creating a funnel that directs visitors to where you want them to be.
For many small businesses that provide a range of services, you want people to feel good about wanting to try your services and contact you for more information, or perhaps request a quote.
As with everything, often there needs to be a compromise between what you may want and what’s best. Context is King, so when reading the elements of good website design below, you should understand a compromise between what you want and what we recommend may be different.
Good Website Design Attracts Attention
The home page of a website will be the most visited page, and more often will be the page visitors see first, so make sure that it grabs peoples attention.
Your logo says a lot about your business, as do the colours you use, the size and choice of font, images and most important the layout.
The top part of a website is seen first and if scrolling is required to see more, what is seen at the top should make people scroll down to read more.
Images can be static, or can be included in various slideshows that are designed to make a first great impression. Any photographs used should be clear, crisp and as large as possible to make an impact!
Trade related small businesses for example should display and promote the great work they do to prospective customers. Instead of taking a quick ‘happy snap’ on your phone complete with harsh shadows and rubbish in the background, consider using a digital camera and put some effort into creating a picture that reflects you care about how your work looks.
If your talents lay elsewhere, Thinking IT can assist with our professional photography service.
Headings, slogans or call to action sections should all be considered with images at the top of your home page to attract attention.
Good Web Design Is User Friendly
Making it easy for customers to see and read what you have to say is very important. A good website design will feel spacious, with text that is large enough and clear enough to read. There is an infinite number of fonts available these days, but should be considered carefully when deciding what the main text will be. Additional fancy fonts can be added for effect and headings can use a different colour, but we strongly suggest keeping a black text on a white background for the main text on your website.
Main menu navigation links are the easiest way to show visitors where to find information that is important and most often sought. Navigation to other pages of your website can effectively be handled with call to action sections, buttons or links from within those main pages.
Good Website Design Helps Build Your Brand
Your website should not just reflect your business, it should promote it. There will be visitors leaving your site without completing a form, buying a product or calling you straight away, but they should remember your name and by using good website design, they should leave with a good impression of your business. Often, visitors may just be researching to discuss with other decision makers later, or checking out the competition before making a decision who to take the next step with. If they leave your website remembering your name and liking what they saw, chances are they’ll come back again.
To increase the chances of people not leaving your website, without taking some sort of action, call to action sections and quote forms are handy. This is one of the main reasons people prefer online vs bricks and mortar retail, they are left alone to make decisions in their own time without feeling harassed by salespeople.
Good Website Design Requires Good Content
If you’re wanting your website pages to be found high up on the first page of search engine results such as Google and Bing for specific search terms, ‘Content Is King’. Even if you don’t, all content should be grammatically correct without spelling mistakes, be clear and concise.
Copy writing is a skill that’s not practiced by many anymore, which is why most of our customers prefer to use the copy writing services Thinking IT offers, especially if SEO is important, allowing you to stay focused on your business.
Fresh original content helps to keep your website current. For SEO, having a blog or portfolio with new content added on a regular basis will help keep search engines coming back and for visitors, they may see something that interests them for the first time. Change feature images, especially if you have something better, you want visitors to see.
Good Website Design Should Adopt Current Code & Browser Standards
Browsers, like Chrome, Internet Explorer; now Edge, Safari etc. are updated often. As coding standards change, browsers change to keep current. Your website should too. Websites do have a shelf-life. If your website has been up for 5 years or more, you should be looking at an upgrade.
If your website takes a long time to load every page, chances are visitors will become impatient and leave. Many extremely large images can be the cause if not handled using modern coding standards. Your website should be quick loading, especially if viewed on mobile phones, that don’t have the processing power PC’s have.
There are a number of ways Thinking IT can reduce load time, including using ‘Content Delivery Networks’ (CDNs), which are adopted with all fast loading shopping Ecommerce websites.