When it comes to designing a website, it’s not just about creating a stunning looking masterpiece. There has to be a balance between beauty and brains.
To accomplish this, you have to first determine the theme – the purpose of your site. Is it a lifestyle blog? An ecommerce site specialising in bicycles and bicycle parts? You have to know and be sure because once you’re decided on this, it should be the foundation of your site’s appearance, functionality and even its name.
Let’s say for example your site is about selling teddy bears, and the site’s name is teddybearz.com, then there’s no reason why your site’s look should depict something car related.
But the aforementioned tip is just a first step. Let’s now look at other tips to maximize functionality and appearance of your site.
When designing your website, you have to keep in mind that your site’s ultimate goal is to communicate a message to your guests. Is your message for visitors to buy or sell something through your site? Or simply read what you have to say? Whatever it is, you need to communicate your intent clearly and concisely.
Once a visitor lands on your site, your message working hand in hand with your site’s aesthetics should be the first thing to grab and guide your guests. Accomplish this with big, bold, concise text. Don’t waste text. Your guest’s attention span probably can’t take it so just hit the nail on the head with rich, inspiring words that are clear and to-the-point. Use fonts as big and bold as the statement itself to capture your audience’s attentions.
But everything you just read only talks about you communicating your message to your guests. What if your guests want to communicate with you? Your guests might have questions, and giving them a line of communication will increase their engagement. But does this communication have to happen offsite with only emails, phone calls or social media?
No, those just rob your site of traffic. Instead, provide the option of a 24/7 live chat. This is especially useful if your website is a service provider because it provides instant access, instant answers, and instant satisfaction to your customers.
- Have a unique website layout: Just because your competitor’s website layout is both gorgeous and efficient, doesn’t mean you have to copy it to compete.
If you really want to beat the competition and be a leader, take time off, work your imagination, be inspired and come up with your own unique layout.
But in your effort to exercise creativity and come up with a masterpiece, remember the functionality and navigability of your website are paramount. Your beautiful, uncluttered, trendsetting design must work just us beautifully as it looks. Apply Visual Hierarchy in ranking elements on your website based on your site’s objective – arrange elements of your site in a manner that prioritizes what is most important.
- Use more and brighter colours: If you’re using concise text on your site, it leaves you room to apply other elements in grabbing your viewer’s attention. And one easy to use element is colours. Bright, bold colours.
But don’t overdo it with a bunch of clashing colours. Having every colour of the rainbow tastelessly splashed across your site will likely repulse your guests and turn them away.
Instead, work with different tones of the same colour to accomplish your goal. Your colours should blend, not clash.
Ivan Black from www.freeparking.co.nz/websites, “The colour scheme and the structure of a website are key elements used in accentuating a site’s attractiveness. If one or both elements are wrongly applied, you can end up with a design of loud, clashing colours that hurts rather than pleases a visitor’s eye. Using our CreateASite service significantly reduces the chances of making such design errors…”
- Focus your content: Keep each content focused on what your site is about. If your website is about teddy bears, then keep all your content teddy bear related. But if for whatever reason your site ends up amassing a wide range of content that stray from the site’s central theme, provide filters.
And don’t litter your site with distracting, irrelevant ads. Even if your goal is to raise revenue, do not place ads highly on your site’s Visual Hierarchy. Guests trust and visit your site for your content, don’t betray that trust by assaulting them with unwanted ads. Blend ads in and ensure they don’t get in the way of content.
- Mobile friendly and fast: This is the most important if you want your site to reach more people. You must ensure the design of your site allows for all its key elements to appear on mobile devices, and load quickly mobile browsers. Most online activity occurs on handhelds now so you can’t restrict your design to work only on big screens, because the little screens are where the real action is. Not only that, Google’s ranking favours the mobile friendly.