Designing a website should always be done with the visitor in mind; it’s the visitor who will decide whether or not the website is good – not the designers or owners. This means the site should be developed according to the preferences of the visitor in terms of form, functionality, and practicality. Understanding this can make a difference between the success and failure of your website.
It’s simply good for businesses to do it right; and it has a cumulative effect. Poorly designed websites tend to have high bounce rates, low time on site – and these Google Analytics Metrics influence how your website will be ranked. But how do you ensure your design is great? Here’s a list of the top principles you should remember for the best website design.
The needs of the user
You need to cater to the user and keep their needs in mind. What does the visitor need; information, ability to buy something, interaction, entertainment? How do you design the site in such a way that the needs of the user are not only met, but met with a high satisfaction rate? It’s often useful to look at existing sites that have a similar purpose as yours and compare them to see what works and what doesn’t.
A clear message
People who surf the Internet want their information quickly, so make sure that your message is as clear as possible – the visitor who doesn’t quite understand what your site is all about right away has a tendency to look for his or her information elsewhere. Be clear.
A lot of discussion is going around regarding the ideal fonts, and there are no hard rules, as the purpose of the website has a lot to do with it. However, Arial and Verdana tend to be much easier to read online than others.
Don’t choose a certain colour because you think it’s pretty – choose the colours that represent your brand, or that your customers appreciate.
The right images can have a huge impact. Make sure they are of high quality, however, and that you own the copyright. Also, don’t put too many images in one place; don’t overcrowd.
One more thing should be remembered when the website is designed: the ability of the user to access the site when he or she is on the road, as mentioned also by expert website designers from Xist2. It’s becoming increasingly common for people to browse and surf the web with mobile devices, and this means your site should be mobile-friendly. The size of the screens and their resolutions will be different, and this will greatly affect the design and how it is perceived. Plan your site carefully; your design will have a tremendous effect on the impression you give.