The ideal website cannot solely focus on great design at the expense of relevant content. The two go hand in hand. But perhaps the most important aspect to keep in mind when designing your website is the user experience. Unless your target audience can find it easy to navigate through the website and find what they need, your website is doomed from the start.
Keeping in mind that different audiences will find different preferences, it is easy to see how designing a website might not be as easy as putting elements and content together. The following simple ground rules should safely get your from buying a domain from your web hosting provider to building the perfect website;
- Keep the Homepage simple and Free of Clutter
No one ever reads all the content on a website. You scan the pages, trying to determine if the website has what you need. Knowing this, you can easily utilize this behavior pattern to make it easier for your average visitor to figure out very quickly that they need your website and your home page is the ultimate weapon in this regard. You want your home page to convey everything about the website without having too much cutter.
You can use text and calls to action. But we also recommend that you consider using image representations of your message since people tend to respond better to images than they do text. The key is to covey everything without overwhelming the visitor.
- Arrange the Content Hierarchically
Before you begin the actual design process, it is important to determine the hierarchy of the information you will be providing. What do you want the visitor to see and interact with first and why? Create breadcrumbs that your visitor can follow to the ultimate destination-your product or service. Then, use color, shapes and images for contrast and accentuation to differentiate between the different pages and information on your website. A visual hierarchy of information will organize your website into clear, easy to read pieces of content.
- Make it Easy to Read
Once you have a clear design concept in mind, it is time to create the content. Aside from being relevant to your audience, you should also consider placing the content on the website in a certain way. Everything you focus on including the font style and size that you use should all be geared towards readability. Consider using at least 16pt font size to make it easy for your readers to see the text and don’t try fancy fonts that your readers may struggle with. Instead choose from the Serif family.
- Make it easy to Navigate
Pay attention to how readers go from one section of the website to another. You don’t want them to spend too long trying to locate any information on your website. This is why having a menu at the top of the website is still the main aspect of web design today. You also want to create a vertical menu to help them locate sections of your website easily.
- Be Mobile Friendly
Ensure that the design you choose is mobile friendly. More and more people are now accessing websites on their mobile device. Alienating these users is equivalent to leaving money on the table. Making your website mobile friendly is luckily very easy to do since practically every website builder will allow you to create a mobile friendly version.
You must however test every aspect of both the desktop and mobile version of the website to ensure they tick every box and are accessible.