- Posted by Donna Amos
- On July 29, 2014
- website design, website development
Building a website requires careful designing and execution by the website developer in order to attract people (traffic) to the website. How to Design a Successful Website should begin with understanding who your target market is and what their likes and dislikes may be so that your brand will resonate with them. Then make certain to include the top 7 website elements. You will find that different web developers have their own unique plans that they follow when creating a website. However, there are general elements that cut across the board and apply to all websites irrespective of who the designer is. From large images to spacing, users expect to see these elements in your website in order to simplify its usage. The following are some of the website design elements that your next project should feature.
This is arguably the most important element of website design. This is because space defines everything that the website should be about including but not limited to readability and flow. It is important to observe consistency as far as spacing is concerned. This means that the spacing between lines and words should be the same across the whole document. Likewise, all images should have equal amount of wrap around them.
Space can also be used to show emphasis around an object or word. For instance, a word surrounded by white space will attract users’ attention more than a word that is crowded in other elements.
2) Simple navigation
The other most important design element is the navigation. You want to ensure your navigation is kept as simple as possible and relatively easy to identify and use. Navigation includes things such as the navigation menus as well as features that assist users to traverse trough the website with ease. In the case of the navigation menus, ensure you keep them to a minimum to avoid overwhelming users. Also, include features such as direction arrows if your website has parallax scrolling for easy navigation. Users tend to stay longer and interact more with sites that are easy to navigate as opposed to those that are cumbersome to navigate through. Remembering that it is about the experience for the end user.
3) About Us
Your website should always include an “About Us” page. This is the page that tells users what the website is all about and what you have to offer. This is especially important for small companies/websites that are just starting out. The page should outline what the website does and their goals. You can also use this page as an opportunity to interact with users. Create a platform where users can express their experiences and testimonials.
Keep the “About Us” page as simple as possible in order to attract more users to read it. A wordy page will most likely put off users and people may never get to know what your website is all about.
4) Call to action
The reason you have the website in the first place is to trigger an action from the users. So why not have a call-to-action section? First of all decide what the website is all about and then design it in a way that action is a little obvious. Direct users to the right’ buttons using features such as space, color and contrast.
Another great way to trigger an action is by having a sign-up field. Strategically position this form in a place where it cannot be ignored and make it as simple as possible (Do not ask for anything more than three pieces of information from users).
5) The search button
The search button is a must-have in your website. When designing the website, this is one of the fields that should be included first before any other field. Design the search box in a simple and easy to use manner while at the same time making it unobtrusive. This field is important for frequent users who may want to find some information they saw previously on the website and is now outdated. Do not make it too fancy as this may confuse users. If you intend to use an icon, do not bother inventing anything new. The magnifying glass icon will definitely do the trick.
6) Great images
Make no mistake. Humans are visual creatures and they love to see beautiful things. A greater majority of people will be interested in a beautiful image as opposed to a block of text describing the same thing. Take high quality images of the products or services that your website offers and place them in the website. However, use the images moderately and avoid stuffing your site with plenty of images that may end up confusing rather than attracting the user to the site.
Smashing Magazine says…”The value of icons lies in their ability to support content in web design and communicate with users in more intuitive and effective ways. Most users are known to first scan a page for visually interesting content, and only after something grabs their attention will they actually begin reading. In short, icons are a simple, effective way to draw users into the content of your website.” And they have a free set of Ballicons Icon you can download.
7) Unique typography
It is important to adopt a unique typography that will identify your website from others. Most companies these days have a unique font style and size that help users single them out from their competitors. As a designer, you need to choose a special font and make it consistent throughout the website so that your users will be able to identify the site just by looking at the font. It takes time but in the end it works to your advantage.
There are several other elements that can be employed to make your website stand out from the crowd but these are the most important and you cannot afford to overlook them.
Have questions about designing your site let us know. And if you enjoyed the post please share.