There are thousands of templates available, hundreds of competitor website on net and then differentiating your design among them is not an easy task. For a designer, this requires a lot of research, several hours of thinking on where to place that button and what elements should be there on the main page. Now, if you are a designer, you would have often faced this dilemma of whether your design is serving the purpose it was created for or is it just a website that would get lost in the sea of other such websites?
No one can exactly tell whether your website is good or not, but there are certain principles that you can follow during the design work to make the chance of error less. In this article we discuss about the 9 principles of good website design. Please, take a look-
Guide the eyes
Which part of your website do you want your viewers to focus the most? Is it some text or a button or anything else? You have just few seconds to either make a viewer your customer or lose him forever to your competitors. Therefore, you literally need to guide the customer eyes to the desired place. Once you have decided the main element you want your consumers to focus on, you can then use techniques like color variation, font variation, etc. to catch the users attention.
Never test users patience
There are potentially hundreds of other website offering the same thing that you might be offering. As such, if your users at any time finds that your website is wasting their time, they won’t hesitate for a second to switch onto some other site. Now, how do you ensure that your users do not feel that way? It’s simple! Research about the users behavior, make sample design and show it to your potential users. You would come to know if your website is something they would feel like using.
Go for Simplicity
No one likes thing that are complex and the internet generation lives by the motto that ‘simplicity is the key’. As such, if they find a website too hard to understand, they might not pay that much attention to it or alternatively abandon it at all. Now, you wouldn’t want that, right? Therefore, go for a simple website and here are few recommendation from our side-
- Do not use multiple colors as it distracts the users.
- Make the navigational flow as simple as it could be, such that even a person who does not have a clue what the website is about, can navigate it properly.
- See examples sites which are known for their simplicity and we are sure you would get a lot of inspiration and ideas from them.
We know that you want your users to see the entire content of the website at once. But, more often than not, it sways the users away as they cannot understand what the website is about. Therefore, always show the thing that is important to catch the users attention and then you can have the rest of the content in ‘Read More’ section. Now, this would help you in proper spacing of various elements of the company on the website. Always differentiate one section from the other by creating a proper spacing among them.
Apart from having proper spacing among bundle of content and feature, one should also have proper spacing among the words, heading etc. This would help in establishing a visual hierarchy among your content.
The user attention time has gone to 8 seconds and that is all you get to explain the entire concept of your website along with its functionality. Therefore, you need to show the features of your website upfront. Now, here comes the hard task of which features you should show on the homepage with prominence and which one can take the backstage. For this we would suggest you to sit with the website owners and see what is the main theme behind the website. The features related to the main theme should get the center stage.
Now, you can also research about the audience and see how much are they willing to go on second or third page to know about the feature. Also, knowing the technical proficiency of your users would be quite helpful in the placement of various elements.
Keep it consistent
If your second page has an entirely different theme from the first one, then not only would it look odd, but would also create confusion in the mind of your users. Therefore, it’s in the best interest to keep your site design consistent throughout. And, by consistent design we do not mean the website theme, but the consistency should also be shown in the typography, navigation flow and every element concerning the website design.
It’s an era of ‘minimalism’ and as such designers in every field are trying to use minimum elements in their design process. Same goes with typography. Your website is no longer being used on just a desktop. In fact majority of your users would be coming from mobile devices and as such choose typography that is clearly visible on small devices.
The most important test for a website is it’s usability. You might have designed marvelous looking website, but can it be used for by your target audience smoothly, is a question you must have answers to! Following is how you can increase the usability of your site-
- Research about your target audience. Try to gather more information about their likings, their browsing patterns, etc. This would help you to know how to design the website so as to attract the audience.
- For what purpose would the website be used? Is your website being used for business purpose, entertainment purpose or anything else. This would largely define how your audience, uses your website.
Test and iterate
Once you have made a design, the next obvious step is to bring it before your target customers. Unless you do the same, you are never going to know the possible drawbacks and loopholes in your sites. With the existing set of eyes that sees your website design, always have some fresh persons to look at it. Once you receive the feedback from their side, try to analyze the feedback and see what you think would be really helpful for your business. Only make those changes which you truly think would be helpful in the long run.
Now, website design is a continuous process that you always need to work on. As such look out for new design trends, see what your competitors are doing and make iteration whenever the need be.
Designing a website that serves its purpose is truly an art, which you can only master after a lot of practice. One needs to be aware of the latest trend, research about the company and its customer and then make design that would stand tall among other similar sites. If you follow these 9 tips we are sure that you can create a website that definitely catches users attention and is something you would be proud of. What do you guys think about it? Do share your thoughts in the comment section below.