In a world where everything is available on a world wide web you can access anything with a few clicks.
When it comes to the Internet, what we see from our computer (or any other device) is a fully functional and accessible website. The technical process, through which a website was made, is an endeavor only those who are skilled in website design and development know about.
Unless you purchase a ready-built platform that offers online store building tools (e.g., Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace, etc.), having a website created includes a detailed process: first the idea is drafted, and then a team of web designers turn your intangible idea into reality by designing PSDs (Photoshop documents). Then conversions from PSD to HTML or PSD to WordPress are made.
However easy and simple this may sound, creating a company website is never ending and requires a lot of effort. Once you have a general idea of the purpose of your website, one of the most important parts of the process begins – web design. “It involves a whole collection of different skills — from copywriting and typography to layout and art — all fused together to create an interface that not only features a pleasant aesthetic but that communicates function and facilitates easy access to its content.” (Source: Smashing Magazine)
Peruse the web and you will see various websites with unique web designs, but what are the common threads that make these websites “great”? Here’s a look at handy web design tips to make your company website more interactive, dynamic, user-friendly and aesthetically balanced.
Simplicity is the best policy.
When hiring a web designer, specifically those who have just entered this field, make sure they aren’t trying too hard and stuff their design with everything including the kitchen sink. If they do, your website design loses its purpose and effectiveness.
The more simple a design is, the more attractive it will look and it is more likely to be glitch free. While images and graphics maximize the visual appeal of your company website, filling it with images, graphics or animations will distract online visitors. Don’t make the most brutal mistake of “design clutter” by going overboard with colors, fonts, graphics, images or animations.
The right color scheme is everything.
The use of colors in your web design is what makes the overall design standout or unique. However, it is not a wise choice to throw every shade of your favorite color into your web design. Choose colors respective to the overall theme and the niche of your brand. A neutral color palette can always work for most designs.
If you’re using patterned backgrounds, make sure it doesn’t conflict with the content. In some cases patterned backgrounds can look great, but not in most cases. Use designer tools, like Paletton – The Color Scheme Designer, to create color combinations that work well together. The colors of your web design can make or break the overall look of your website.
Choose the right fonts.
Like colors, fonts play an important role in web design. Fonts like Open Sans are most commonly used and considered user-friendly. For instance, Open Sans is a sans-serif typeface commissioned by Google. “According to Google, it was developed with an ‘upright stress, open forms and a neutral, yet friendly appearance’ and is ‘optimized for legibility across print, web, and mobile interfaces.’” (Source: Wikipedia)
Steer clear of overused fonts that are hard to read or dated; the simpler, the better. Follow a similar font style throughout your design, by changing only the size and thickness as per the overall theme.
Don’t ignore responsive design.
With the growth in Internet-enabled devices, the need for websites to be fully optimized across all screens is vital. The adaptability of your web design over different devices and screen sizes is what makes your web design responsive. “Users no longer view the web solely from their desktop computers. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, retina displays, and televisions are used every day to access the Internet, and each device has a different screen size and should be considered in a different context.
Responsive design enables a single website to scale and change based on the device it is accessed from — without creating multiple, separate sites.” (Source: Web Marketing Today) It is very important for your company website to be viewable on a mobile phone or tablet. Responsive web design(RWD) is nothing new, but if your site doesn’t have it – you are far, far behind.
Remember your call to action and conversion path.
Regardless of how perfect your web design is if it doesn’t highlight or direct your users to an ultimate goal then the whole purpose is lost. Your site design and content should be easy to understand and direct users through a customer journey and purchase path.
Don’t leave a user wondering what the pictures, font or design is all about. Your website exists to serve the needs of your users and should not confuse them. Make your website design standout from the crowd, but ensure it is easily understood and accessible.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Christine Rudolph is a content developer at Pac and Copy Plus, a digital marketing and web development agency. Connect with @RudolphBlogger on Twitter for more web and mobile application related updates.
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