Web design, while it may sound effortless to some, has its own intricacies. Many factors must be considered first when we talk about web design.
Basically, web design involves two main things: 1) visual aesthetics and 2) site usability. Everything visual that may affect the user experience (UX) is part of web design. These are all the things that the user sees on the computer screen.
When web designers design
Factors to consider in web design
Let’s backtrack a bit.
Do you still remember the 90’s web design? It was so simplistic but with lots of noises and nuances. Most functions and features work, but these are not necessarily what you are looking for a website especially an online store. Yes, e-shopping revolution happened during the early to mid 90’s.
The specifications and requirements are simple though thus, building quality websites were accessible during that time. Today, however, there are many considerations in working on the sites for trades such as graphics, CSS, PHP, login interface, etc. Some of these are as follows.
Before working on the web design of your site, you should have a prospective host. Yes, already. Of course, different hosts are available. Ensure that your potential host will support the platform, content management system-wise, that you will use on your site. Most website hosts support all the plugins and formats, but some are costlier than others.
Information architecture (IA) refers to the website flow. Making a website that lacks flow is a huge mistake. In designing a website, it is advisable that other people should test out the site first before launching it. Although it appears good for the owner, others might find it ridiculous. Just think about it.
Many people disregard the website’s weight. Computers are more powerful, and the Internet is indeed faster. But the primary goal in web design is to make the site as fast as it should be. Graphics-heavy websites, for instance, take longer to load. If your website does not load quickly, and by quickly we mean 2 to 3 seconds especially on mobile devices, the visitors will probably leave your site.
Rules to follow in web design
Web designers are aware of the most effective UX elements, so, as a client, you should listen to them. Also, they will tell you whether the feature you want will work or not. Why, you may ask. It’s because they follow simple rules when designing websites.
Visitors should easily understand your site’s purpose at one glance. Ensure that your web design is simple and uncluttered. Do not add unnecessary information and many small but useless icons. Your navigation systems and signposting should be clear and straightforward. These elements will enhance the visitors’ experience and aid them as well.
Keep the navigation simple
Navigation should be transparent and clear. If there is too much content on your website, split it up into numerous categories. Aside from this, you might consider the addition of a comprehensive sitemap. It is essential that the visitors can access the site’s content in just a few clicks. You might also display your navigation systems at the bottom of the site or in a sidebar, as many other websites do. However, make sure that it is easy to spot and intuitive.
Follow a color scheme
To create a website that is more professional looking, limit the number of colors that your web design will use. A typical color scheme is using one color in addition to shades of grey, black, or white. You might derive your color scheme from your logo. Being consistent with colors gives a more robust experience to visitors and helps maintain the website’s overall appearance.
Use high-quality collateral
Make sure that all the images have the best quality and the videos have the highest resolution. Do not use too many graphics overloaded with effects that may only distract visitors from the page’s pertinent information. Plus, these only add up to time in loading your pages. You don’t want to do this especially today that speed is considered as a ranking factor.
Create high-quality and unique content
Once you are pleased with the final design of your website – the web design looks organized, entirely professional, and sharp, it is vital to ensure that the content of your site is unique and share-worthy. The keywords are coherent, optimized, and succinct. Your content’s tone will be set accordingly by having firm a grasp of the company and knowing the company’s target audience.
Mistakes to avoid in web design
Web designers know what makes a particular website stand out from the rest. Of course, you would want the visitors to your website to keep coming back. A site that is poorly designed will only drive them away. Unfortunately, there are incompetent web designers that still make these mistakes.
Mistake #1 – Poor navigation
If the visitors would have a hard time getting around your website, most likely, the visitors will leave your site and find another site. As simple as that. A site that has good navigation keeps the visitors longer on the site. It is necessary to keep the navigation effective and simple. Opt for the user-friendly navigation type.
Mistake No. 2 – Wrong landing pages
Do not make the visitors confused about the pages they have landed. All the pages on your website must clearly indicate to the visitors that they are still on your site. You should make sure that all the pages link back to the homepage. Other than that, inconsistency has no room when it comes to web designing.
Mistake No. 3 – Long landing pages
Most users do not want to keep on scrolling; however, they might do so if they think something interesting to read follows. You might split up the pages or ensure that content options and navigation can be found on the top of long pages.
Mistake No.4 – Slow page load speed
Slow downloads will be costly. If you want the visitors to stay on your site, focus on fast downloads by reducing the sizes of the image file and limiting images on each page.
Mistake No.5 – Ad overcrowding
Using ads is OK. However, your efforts in designing should be focused on the site’s content, instead of the ads. Don’t make your website look like marketing material. You should balance the ads and the content.
Finally, knowing all the above, you may design your own website. You can also seek the help of a web design agency. You might have the experiences essential in developing an outstanding website. Owning a business will not give you the time to do so plus you might have a very different idea of current web design trends. Come to think of it. When was the last time you design a website?
Ask these questions too: What makes self-designed websites different from professionally-designed websites? Are the programs used by them different from tools that are available to the masses? Will they have different results? Do the web design companies have trade secrets only they are aware of? Will the customers know if your website is exclusively self-designed?
Professionals use the right tools
Numerous web designers use free tools available to the masses. However, they combine the free tools with those that are industry-specific and use these at a much more significant level than average people. Tools might provide a website with a fantastic framework. But such will look inexpensive and unprofessional if it will be designed with a pre-made template. Who wants their corporate website to appear as a teenage blog?
Professional web designers are knowledgeable in using industry-specific vectors, illustrations and graphics, for instance, and customizing it in a manner that the tool becomes unique. Hence, the website that will be created would have the depth, feel, functionality and look of a site that is sophisticated and exceptional enough.
Having your own website is an important investment in marketing your business. Thus, it should be made right. If you are an expert in designing websites, then, by all means, do your own. Otherwise, you will obtain a more user-friendly, more streamlined, and much cleaner outcome from hiring a web design company. This might indeed cost a bit than using free online tools, but this will give your business a boost that is worth the investment.