A great website isn’t something that happens in a matter of minutes, it needs a lot of work and a great deal of effort if you want it to be successful. It comes down to a number of issues including:
- Understanding your customers
- Knowing your business objectives
- Creating an innovative and at the same time attractive user interface
- Making the site easy, fast and reliable
And these are just the basics.
Here are 6 of some of the most important factors that should be taken into consideration during your website’s design process:
1. Have the end user in mind
Every business owner knows that whatever they are offering, and through whatever means, the person you want to reach out to and impress most is the customer. It is no different when you are designing your website. The customer should always come first. Your website is a place where you are able to engage with your customers and offer them what you hope they are looking for.
So when designing your website it is imperative to have the customer at the forefront of your thoughts so that you are constantly aiming to meet their needs and wants.
Begin with a customer profile (a buyer persona) so that you understand your customer first; then you can proceed with a design that will appeal to them.
For example, if your customer is someone who doesn’t have the time to browse through endless pages and just wants to have a quick look and if they’re happy proceed to a purchase then your website is going to be fast loading, pretty simple and to the point.
When designing your website it is vital to prioritise the information, images and content that is going to be utilised. Having a home page that is busy and bustling with just far too many images, colours and words is not going to appeal to the majority of searchers out there so you need to make sure it only has the most vital information that will encourage a call to action. Home pages are what will get that customer to keep browsing or have them click away your site in an instance so making sure it is effective, attractive and informative without causing frustration. This is critical to its success.
3. Keep it simple
It may sound cliché but keeping things simple and easy is going to get your website far more traffic than if you over complicate things. Most web users are busy and want to get things done in the quickest, safest and most reasonable way, so you need a website that is going to offer your services or products in a productive and hassle-free way.
Many times I have a been on a website and I’ve felt like I’m being led into a maze, with bright disco colours and ugly fonts, that not only frustrates me but wastes my desperately valuable time; so of course the first thing I do is click the little ‘x’ in the top right corner and move on to another website. Your website should be easy to navigate, simple to follow and pleasing to browse.
4. Focus on what is important
It is imperative to know how to structure your website in a way that grabs the user’s attention whilst giving them all the information they are seeking. A website needs to be organised, well thought-out and arranged in a way that informs your customer that your website is designed for his/her ease and comfort whilst pointing out all of the information you want to get across to them. Placing items, images and content in a structured environment with relevant information is going to score winning points with your prospective or existing customers.
5. Choose the right colours, fonts & sizes
Choosing the right colours, fonts and sizes may seem like a simple task; just go with what you think looks great, right? Wrong. Knowing what your customers like and what emotions they may have when browsing is something that needs research and time, and something you’ll definitely need to invest in. Choosing random colours and giant fonts is not the way to go. A structured website needs to get a message across to its customers and colours and fonts are a great way to achieve this.
Colours speak to people and choosing the right colours (and no more than about five) is vital in how your message will come across. For example, if your brand is a luxury product that is high-end high-street and costs more than some similar cheap looking brands you may want to opt for purples in your colour scheme as purple is the colour of royalty and works great for the more luxurious products. Knowing that colours are vital in stirring up emotions will set you on the right track.
6. Keep your content neat & real
Content is probably the most important aspect of your website; it is what speaks to the customer and what builds the relationship between the brand and themselves. The words you choose should be short and to the point. Words are going to be everywhere on your website; your titles, headings, links, company overview, blog content, submission forms and many, many more. Content should be unique, relevant and appropriate and should tell a story about your brand or business in a way that the customer can relate to. Keywords are fundamental and any writing should flow in a natural and distinctive way.
A website should be viewed as a way of opening-up new opportunities for your business or brand, delivering messages to your customers and allowing those customers to have a look around in a stress-free, time-saving way. So when designing it the above mentioned factors should be considered as essential. A good website design takes time and work. Carefully looking at your customer, the site’s purpose, the graphical elements that should be applied and your end goals are all factors that are going to set you on the right track to designing a website that will reap the rewards you are hoping for.