An effective website is one that is not only incisive in terms of content and design, but its style and function also should enrich a visitor’s overall experience besides being easy to navigate.
While beauty may be in the eyes of the mouse-holder, web visitors differ in taste and preference. This notwithstanding, before settling on a website design, there are some set down rules that every website, however attractive or functional, must abide.
With so many available options to make your own website these days, just having a website isn’t enough. To make your website sticky and keep your customers peeled on your pages, the following surefire guidelines should come in handy.
1) Keep clutter out of your homepage
When is the last time you read every word on a website? Most people rarely spend enough time on a website to read every word. Web visitors simply skim through the pages; only pausing to consider the main phrases, headings, and keywords. They mostly don’t care how many words you use on your website. Rather, they are here for value; be it entertainment, inspirational or educational value. To keep them peeled on your pages for a longer time, you need to be able to tug at their emotions and feelings and not just the number of words on your page.
When it comes to web design, less is more. You want your website visitors experience to be as memorable as possible. If you have too much content on your site, they won’t have time to absorb all of it.
So, keep your homepage as minimalist in design and content as possible. With less information to process, your visitors are more likely to understand your content and take the actions you want them to take. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to break up your text into manageable bits, each with a visible subheading and paragraphs that are easy to read. And when it comes to images and icons, use them to communicate your message with impact.
2) Use a design that is visually hierarchical
Since Moses received the stone tablets eons ago, technology has evolved. Today’s fast-and-furious technological world is a designer’s nightmare. This is because people are spoilt for choice; from personal computers to laptops and hand-held gadgets. A designer worth their salt will have to come up with websites that appeal across generations and technological devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones.
To attract and sustain the attention of a web visitor, you will only have a few seconds. If you are not able to quickly arrest their attention, they’ll be gone in a jiffy; perhaps never to come back. But if your content has a clear hierarchy, most visitors will be enticed to follow and pick up the breadcrumbs you will have strategically left for them to pick up.
To make a visitor’s experience even more memorable, tastefully use color, the right font size, adequate spacing, and contrast. This will attract and arrest visitors to your website.
All this has to be by design and not by accident. Consider using strips for a compelling visual hierarchy that will present your content in a clear and crisp manner. Be intentional in your design.
3) Make sure your website is easily navigable
Web design should not be an abstract work of art. You don’t want your visitors to think too hard to understand your content. One way to help visitors is to provide an easy-to-navigate structure that even dimwits such as bots can understand. If search engines don’t understand your website, they will make sure no one else sees it. A site that is easy to navigate helps your visitors and search engines to take appropriate actions.
Your logo or brand image should link to the index page. Most web visitors are known to click on logos expecting to head back to the homepage. If you don’t have a logo, there are many platforms out there you can use to design one. Or you can just hire a professional logo designer to make one for you.
The menu should also be clearly visible. Ideally, it should be placed at the top within the header area of a website. One should be able to tell the importance of every section by just looking at the menu.
Vertical anchor menus can also be used, especially for deep-scrolling pages to help users quickly explore your website from any location on the page.
As a general rule, let your most important content stand out. It should also be visible to a visitor without them having to scroll.
4) Make your website mobile friendly
With about 80% of internet users owning smartphones, if your website is not mobile-ready, you will be losing a lot of traffic. Always think like a user when designing a website and make sure to test all the pages and action prompts.
Lastly, be on the lookout for better designs that will keep clients glued to your website. Be creative and stay on the cutting edge of technological changes and people’s information-seeking behaviors. If you’re considering creating a new website, make sure you choose the best website builder that suits your needs, click here for everything you have to know.