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Is your website looking a little outdated? Are you struggling to convert clicks into sales? The fast-paced nature of digital development means that a site that was created 10 years ago likely looks positively ancient today, which can have a real impact on how potential customers respond to your products and services.
Web design is like any other type of design — notoriously difficult to get right. That’s why many businesses opt to outsource their site development and maintenance to a web design company. This move makes sense. However, it doesn’t hurt for business owners to have at least a base level understanding of what goes into good web design and how a smart website can transform their sales.
Without further ado, here is a selection of the top principles of good web design.
Navigation is arguably the most important aspect of web design, and it is the responsibility of both UX and UI designers. A website’s navigation structure has an enormous impact on user engagement and bounce rates. The simple fact of the matter is, if user cannot quickly find what they are looking for, they are likely to look elsewhere.
Practically speaking, navigation refers to the use of sidebars, drop-down menus, headers, and breadcrumbs that help a user get to their end goal.
These days, we access the web on an array of different devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Unfortunately for web designers, this means that their hard work needs to be accessible across a variety of different screen sizes and formats.
Responsive design refers to just that; the ability of a website to respond to a user regardless of the device’s aspect ratio. This involves everything from making sure that the buttons are large enough to be clicked on to optimising photos so that a page does not take too long to load.
Colour — it’s one of the best things about effective web design. While very early websites were largely black and white, modern sites can take our breath away with their engaging use of colour palettes.
When it comes to colour, the number one rule is consistency. Pick a colour palette and stick with it — throughout the entire website and ideally on any linked social media accounts.
You should also be discerning in your choice of colour. By learning the basics behind colour psychology and colour theory, you should be able to create an engaging visual palette that is reflective of a company’s brand.
Colour is also important from an accessibility perspective. When designing a website, it’s important that you keep all users in mind, including those who have additional accessibility requirements. By focusing on contrast and adding texture and pattern, you can design a smart site that is friendly to all of your users.
Closely linked to responsive design, the effective performance simply means that your website gets the job done — as quickly as possible.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the world of high-res photos, animations, and innovative interfaces, if not implemented correctly, these features can actually have a negative impact on the user experience.
By compressing your files, optimising your images, and making use of simple navigation structures, your users will be able to enjoy your design without becoming frustrated at the site’s sub-par performance.
Content writing is an art form and when done right can make a substantial difference to user experience. It takes skill to write engaging content reflective of a company’s brand and ethos.
Quality content should be your number one priority when designing a website. Many companies make the mistake of focusing upon SEO keyword-rich content rather than the human user. A good content writer has the ability to juggle both, integrating keywords in a natural fashion and using an appropriate tone.
Above all, make sure your site contains all the information your users need. Otherwise, they are likely to quickly take their business elsewhere.
You may not realise it, but your choice in typography says a lot. A font conveys tone, attitude, and formality, and is an excellent way of expressing a business's brand.
There are quite a few rules when it comes to type, which apply to size, structure, and spacing. An experienced web designer will have a good handle on these, and will understand how best to capitalise upon typography conventions to create a thoughtful and impactful site.
Does all this leave you feeling a bit like you’d prefer to stick with your old, outdated site rather than go through the process of designing a new one? Fair enough — web design is not for the faint-hearted.
However, good web design does make a substantial difference to the level of engagement that your clients have with your online resources. Given the competitive nature of today’s business landscape, an enticing, content-rich site can make the difference between a potential client going with your business or opting for your competitor.
It’s time to give your website a makeover, so contact a team specialising in web design in Australia without delay.
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