A good website design should fulfill its intended function by delivering its intended message while also engaging the visitor. A lot of factors such as consistency, imagery, colors, fonts, simplicity and functionality contribute to good website layout.
A well designed website can help build trust and guide visitors to take action. Designing a great user experience involves making sure your website design is optimized for usability (form and aesthetics) and how it easy is it to use (functionality).
Here are some guidelines that will help you when designing your next web project.
Your website needs to simply understood by the user. Having a simple clear intention on all pages will help the user interact with what you have to offer. What is the purpose of your website?
Are you imparting practical information like a ‘How to guide’? Is it an educational website like scholarship publication or are you selling a product to the user? There are many different purposes that websites may have but there are particular purposes common to all websites;
- Describing what you do
- Building Your Reputation
- Generating Leads
- Sales and follow up
Waiting for a website to load will lose visitors. Nearly half of web visitors expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less and they will potentially leave a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. Optimizing image sizes will help load your site faster.
Simplicity is the best way to go when considering the user experience and the usability of your website. Below are ways to achieve simplicity through design.
Color has the power to communicate messages and ignite emotional responses. Finding a color palette that fits your brand will allow you to influence your customer’s behaviour towards your brand.
Keep the colour selection to at most 3 colors. Complementary colors work very well. Pleasing color combinations increase customer engagement and make the user feel good.
Fonts has an important role to play on your website. It commands attention and works as the visual interpretation of the brands voice. Typefaces should be legible and only use a maximum of 3 different fonts on the website.
Imagery is every visual aspect used within communications. This includes still photography, illustration, video and all forms of graphics. All imagery should be expressive and capture the spirit of the company and act as the embodiment of their brand personality. Most of the initial information we consume on websites is visual and as a first impression it is important that high quality images are used to form an impression of professionalism and credibility in the visitors mind.
Navigation is the way finding system used on websites where visitors interact and find what they are looking for. Website navigation is key to retaining visitors. If the websites navigation is confusing visitors will give up and find what they need elsewhere. Keeping navigation simple, intuitive and consistent on every page is key.
More people are using their phones or other devices to browse the web. It is important to consider building your website with a responsive layout where your website can adjust to different screens.
F-SHAPED PATTERN READING
The F- based pattern is the most common way visitors scan text on a website. Eye tracking studies have found that most of what people see is in the top and left area of the screen. The F’ shaped layout mimics our natural pattern of reading in the West (left to right and top to bottom). An effective designed website will work with a readers natural pattern of scanning the page.
Visual hierarchy is the arrangement of elements is order of importance. This is done either by size, color, imagery, contrast, typographically, whitespace, texture and style. One of the most important functions of visual hierarchy is to establish a focal point; this shows visitors where the most important information is.
An effective web design has both great design and great content. Using compelling language great content can attract and influence visitors by converting them into customers.
GRID BASED LAYOUT
Grids help to structure your design and keep your content organised. The grid helps to align elements on the page and keep it clean. The grid based layout arranges content into a clean rigid grid structure with columns, sections that line up and feel balanced and impose order and results in an aesthetically pleasing website.