When you create a website for your company, you are essentially trying to create an experience for your customers. And while creating a good website may not be all that hard, making sure that it stays up to date with today’s latest web technologies and SEO practices are much more complex. Remember, amateur sites that don’t include effective website design elements won’t secure high rankings on search engine result pages, which decreases your brand awareness and limits your sales potential.
Understanding Effective Website Design Elements
An effective website is going to grab the attention of site visitors and provide them with a simple way to find the information they are looking for. Any notion of confusion on the site will likely lead to them exiting the site and going to a competitor’s site. Let’s take a look at the elements of effective website design and tips for making sure your site maintains a competitive edge.
Develop a Purpose
One of the most important elements of any good website is a well-developed purpose. You need to identify the needs of consumers and then create a site that meets these needs. Are site visitors coming to your site for entertainment purposes? Because they want to buy a product or service? To connect with other people? The purpose of your site will determine everything from the content that you display to the layout of each page.
Keep It Simple
If you cram too much content onto any single page, this is only going to lead to a cluttered mess, and consumers do not like messy. They want clean and simple. Too much information causes confusion, so you should do your best to keep each page, as well as each section on every page, as simple as possible; this leads to a site that is easy to navigate.
When a person visits your web page, they want to access the information they are in search of as quickly as possible. All content should be displayed in easy-to-read formats. Paragraphs should be short and sweet and simple to digest. With this in mind, make sure your information is organized according to headlines and subheadlines, and you may even want to use bullet points. Communicate what you need to communicate and then move on to the next piece of content you are wanting to share. Remember, it’s all about value, not fluff.
Good First Impression
Your website is your opportunity to leave a good first impression. Many people will come into contact with your website before they ever actually do a transaction with you; this is why your website needs to include effective website design elements that leave a good, lasting impression. More importantly, your home page needs to be absolutely astonishing. A good home page will be very simple — company name, contact information, and a list of navigation buttons that direct site users to other parts of your site. Also, a good home page will have a search function.
Your website should have a general theme across every page. Never should site visitors feel as if they are visiting a new website when they click on a different page. Instead, a consistent design should be incorporated across the entire site and navigation buttons should be in the same place on each page.
You may find yourself wanting to get fancy with different types of fonts, but truth is, the simpler, the better. A Sans Serif font, like Verdana, is extremely easy to read and will make your site visitors happy. You don’t want to use fonts that have decorative finishes because this makes the content difficult to read and will steer visitors from returning to your site.
In addition to the right typefaces, you will also want to make sure you are choosing the right colors for your site. No matter the colors you choose to use, make sure you use a consistent palette on all pages. If colors look as if they are clashing, change them because you want there to be a strong difference between the content you are displaying and the background it is sitting on.
The best type of coding is the type that you create yourself from scratch. But if you aren’t familiar with creating code, then you will, of course, want to leave this in the hands of a professional. Why is unique code so important? Because when you use code that comes in the form of templates and pre-written scripts, this makes it nearly impossible for you to identify when something goes wrong.