When it comes to web design, you’ll want to hit the nail on the head from the get-go. By creating a well-considered, optimised and responsive website in the first place, you’ll not only future proof your online presence, but will invariably benefit from not having to invest time and money into correcting shortcomings and playing catch-up with competitors.
So, to help you steer clear from any potentially damaging mistakes in the design of your website, below we offer 5 actionable tips for making sure your web design is awesome:
1. Create strong, clear brand messaging
Your website should always contain your brand’s image, which you can then control entirely – in terms of placement and size. Ensure that your website sets a clear brand message consistently throughout as this is what will make the user remember you and your brand.
2. Provide a clear, concise navigation method
A good web designer will ensure that they use design techniques to direct the user around the website. Good use of position, colour, contrast and size can all help focus the user. Stick to one main navigation menu, remain consistent throughout the site, use sub-navigation and keep it uncluttered by avoiding drop down menus.
Visitors can be fickle and if a site is hard or slow to navigate they’ll be off. Ensure navigation buttons are obvious and easily identifiable. At the end of the day if your website isn’t usable visitors will leave – as quick as a mouse. So, when working on the web design, consider the end user’s experience of the site.
3. Keep it consistent
Users like to know where they are within a website and if the style of a page changes dramatically or somehow feels different visitors will become disengaged and can start to feel lost. Maintain consistency by ensuring everything matches, from headings and typefaces to design, colour and image style.
4. Keep it simple
Today’s surfers won’t hang around so make sure the page is scannable. That means not being afraid to use plenty of white space. There is a theory behind this – our eyes do not naturally work in a linear fashion. Given the chance they’ll take in more and then zoom into an area of interest from the bigger picture.
5. Make sure it’s compliant
A good website should adhere to certain guidelines. Websites that are built in accordance with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) are sure to be suitable for people with disabilities and, by covering aspects of web design such as screen flickering, you’re keeping in line with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).