Let’s be honest, web design is hard work. Whether you’re someone that is just starting a business, simply exploring the digital world or even if you’re a professional, it takes time and a whole lot of effort to produce something that will impress your audience. As much as I love pretty things and design, a website cannot just simply be successful by its beautiful aesthetic and wonderful content. A website’s user experience and functionality are so vital if you are wanting to reach your goals. Who here has been on a website and left because it was confusing and hard to follow and you just simply couldn’t find what you’re looking for? I for one can say I have and you know what happened after? I went to another website looking for my information, taking my potential business and brand loyalty with me.
That being said I want you to succeed and I don’t want you to be “that” website to people. There are no clear-cut rules for making the website of your dreams but there are a few “guidelines” you can turn to if you want to check if you are on the right track. You can use them for when you create your own website, to check if you need an update on your current website, or to just simply to make sure that whoever is doing the job for you is doing the job right. These tips aren’t the only things that matter in web design but they are some of the ones that should stay at the top of your mind so that you become the successful individual I believe you can be! On that note, I’ll just cut right too it… here are my top 5 web design tips for anyone that is looking for a helping hand:
1. Start Your Web Design Offscreen
This is a personal tip that have found handy through my experience and that I think would help anyone starting off. It can be hard to make something visually pleasing and easy to use if you don’t know what you want the full picture to look like. It doesn’t matter if you are just sketching it out or doing it on photoshop, having a rough idea of what you want the overall layout to be and what photos, colors and fonts you want to use will ultimately make the web building process a lot smoother for you and keep things better organized.
2. Say It With Me…Minimalism and No Clutter!
The homepage is usually one of the first things your visitor is looking at when they arrive at your website so you need to make a good impression. Picture this, you’re walking into an interview for your dream job: do you come in rolling out of bed and with messy hair and unprepared? No! (at least I hope not). You go in confident, looking dapper and ready to sell yourself to the recruiter. Your website is no different, it is a part of who you are as a brand and you have to utilize it to make a good first impression otherwise you will lose your viewers.
Most people don’t read everything you have written on the page, instead, they quickly do a scan to find what they are looking for. So don’t worry about your word count, just keep it simple and easy to use (images are a good substitute for words so ask yourself if there is a better way you can convey your message visually for your audience). After all, the easier people can get to what they came for, the more likely they will make the conversion you wanted them to do. Example: Woven Magazine
3. Design Is Still Important!
Design with visual hierarchy top of mind! Visual hierarchy is just a fancy way of saying that people look at what catches their attention first, and then they go to the second thing and then continue on from there. You don’t want to make something look more important than it is by putting it front and center or making it too large. A good way to test to see if you have your website set up correctly is by just simply having a friend look at it for you and asking them what they looked at first, second and third and if it matches what you intended it to be, then you have mastered the art of visual hierarchy! If you establish that clear path for your viewers to follow, they will most likely follow it.
Make sure all your colors are intentional and going along with what you are trying to highlight as most important. Don’t overwhelm your consumer with a million colors, pick a color scheme and try to stick with it. Also, try to have a nice contrast between your colors and text so that it can be easy to read.
While we’re talking about text, try not to put too many different fonts, sticking to a good 2 (maybe 3) fonts is usually a good rule to follow. If there are too many fonts on the page it can confuse the consumer and look cluttered. (and we said no clutter remember?) One last tip with fonts is to make sure that you are making them big enough for your viewer to read because no one is going to take the time to try to make out the tiny letters on the screen so don’t make them have to.
4. Make It Easy To Navigate
This is where you have to remember that web design is not the only element you need to keep in mind. This tip kind of goes of the second one but it’s important to mention on its own because it is so vital. It’s not your job make your web design so complex that the visitor has to go through 5 extra steps just to find the search bar just because it looked pretty. Try to think of yourself as the user and go through your website with a goal in mind then ask yourself a few questions: Was it easy to find what you were looking for? Did it have a clear and obvious path to follow? And did it ultimately give you the results you were looking for? If you answered no to any of those, then maybe its time to consider changing something up or talking to the professionals to make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate. Your visitors should know what your website is about without having to scroll or go to another page.
5. Mobile Friendly, Mobile Friendly, Mobile Friendly.
Phones are the reality we live in, we check them to see what the weather is that day, to look up weird facts on google, or even to search your companies website. In a mobile run society you have to remember that the viewers are not all looking at your website from a computer screen, so if it’s not optimized to work/look correctly on a mobile device you can bet that you will most likely lose that potential customer. Mobile usage is increasing with time, so this is not a tip to overlook and why I choose to end with it. Now, this may be something you need your COMO Web Designs, LLC friends to help you do, but I promise at the end of the day it is worth it. Don’t believe me? Here are some statistics to reassure your trust in me:
According to Statista, “mobile internet usage has worked its way into the daily life of smartphone and tablet users and global mobile data traffic is expected to increase nearly a sevenfold between 2016 and 2021. As of February 2017, mobile devices accounted for 49.74 percent of web page views worldwide.”
That sounds like mobile might be pretty important, don’t you think?
Well, that’s not “it,” there are lots of other tips out there to help you out but these are the ones that struck me as most important. COMO Web Designs, LLC keeps all of this in mind when building your perfect website but we are always looking for inspiration so if you have any web design tips you want to share with us that have worked for you, please tell us in the comments below!