Top 10 tips that make the best web designs
1. Purpose and Conversion Optimization
All websites have a purpose. Usually that purpose is to sell something, create contact with visitors, or communicate something. A website can be beautiful, but if it has no purpose, then the website will not have any benefit for its owner.
A website can have thousands and thousands of visitors, but if all of the visitors are bouncing away from the site then the web design has failed. A website must have a purpose and that purpose must be at the center of the design.
Call to Action, if a website has a clear call to action, and then the visitor will know the purpose of the website.
If a web design is confusing then it will most likely reduce conversions. A web design must be simple and intuitive. One simple test is if your grandmother can’t figure out a website’s navigation, then you have a big problem. People don’t surf the internet with patience and understanding; people surf the internet to quickly find what they are looking for. If the design of your website creates an obstacle for the visitor they will most likely leave your website and go to your competition.
Don’t reinvent the wheel with your design. People expect certain things in a website design like: top or left navigation, headlines at the top of the page, no broken functionality, and having 3 clicks or less to get to the content they are looking for.
It is OK to have different custom designed pages on a website. However it is not OK to have such dramatically different layouts, colors, or navigation on every page. When going from one page to another it is ideal to have the navigation stay in the same place, otherwise a visitor will become disoriented and possible not know where they are or how to get back.
A good web design should have a consistency throughout the entire website. The navigation should not change on every page, the header or top area of the website’s design should stay fairly static. It is OK to have different content and colors, as long as it is wrapped in a consistent design.
Compared to 10 or 15 years ago, screens on computers and other devices have dramatically increased in resolution. In other words there is a lot more screen real estate to work with. Web design elements should be spaced out. Using white space around different design elements is much more eye pleasing.
There are other methods of spacing in web design like: line spacing and padding. Using line spacing can also help a web design increase the readability of content. Having padding around or in web design elements gives an emphasis to that element and more value to the content.
As I have mentioned before, using headlines at the top of the page is what people expect. It is obvious that larger text and bolder text gives the text more emphasis and importance to the user.
Does this mean that you should have all of your content in headlines and large text? No; by no means. Not only will this overwhelm visitors, it may also be penalized in Google’s search rankings.
Typography is an art within itself and when used properly can add a layer of elegance to any website.
6. Representation and Uniqueness
Just having a great layout by itself will not create a good web design. The website must be unique and tell a story. If your web design doesn’t reflect the company it represents, then it is misleading. This can become a factor especially in cookie cutter designs where one design looks almost identical to thousands of other web designs.
When starting a new website you may think I will only want 3 pages, and then later down the line you may want to add a blog, an online store, and a forum. If your website is not designed to accommodate the addition of new content, then this can increase your design costs later on down the road.
Usually keeping a design simple is the best solution. Adding complex image sliders, background videos, music, and animations not only increases the web design cost, it also can be a distraction for visitors to what the ultimate goal of your website is, a conversion. Web surfers don’t want to learn how to use your website’s advanced features if another website can offer the same features in a must easier to use method.
8. Load Speed
Web surfers are not patent people. If your website doesn’t load within 5 seconds the odds are they have already started looking at your competitors.
9. Mobile Friendly
In today’s ever increasing mobile phone society, having a website that can be viewed on the go is a must. There are two different forms of mobile websites that can be used in a web design: adaptive and responsive. Both from a usability standpoint work well, however when taking SEO into consideration, then responsive designs win. A responsive design will automatically adapt to what ever device the user is currently using.
Not having a mobile friendly website will make your company seem less reputable to visitors, dramatically increase your bounce rate, and make your visitors sad.
If your website design has all of these things then it has reached its maximum potential. Now the focus goes from the design and to the product or the content itself of the website.