Many websites I come across break what I call the 5 golden rules of web design. In this article I will show you these 5 golden rules so your website performances at it's very best.
Easy on the Eye
Stay away from using strong colors and many images. Effective websites are simple websites. Use colors that compliment each other well, do not, for example use a black background and have pink text, this is sure to drive your visitor, and potential customer away from your site. Light blues, light gray, white, yellow, and green can really compliment each other if implemented effectively. First impressions are key and the first thing a visitor is going to see when they land on your site, is your design, if they do not like it, then they probably will not return.
Try to get a good theme going through your site, a theme relative to the product or service you are selling is always a good thing. Remember though, we do not want hundreds of images splashed across our page, we want to keep images down, and keep them very relative to the content on our site. Differentiating website themes can confuse visitors, this is never good as they most probably will not be staying for long on your site. Most sites nowdays have one theme, the design throughout the site does not differ. Themes are also important to your branding, having a good theme can leave an impression on your visitor's mind, whenever they come back to your site, they now they are on your site.
Having a good amount of content on your site is a plus, however, swamping our visitor down with tons and tons of information is not. We want to get across a good amount of information without it being too much. Too much information can bore the visitor, and extremely lead to them leaving your site. Good content is also important for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. The better your content, the higher your chances will be of improving your search engine rankings. Try not to use big, brash fonts within your content, headlines are ok, but do not make them intrusive. I like to use Arial as a font for my web designs as it is very easy to read. I also try to stay away from using black colored font on my site, although black is ok, I like to be different. My sites will use dark greys our blues for the main text. It feels fresh and easy on the eye.
Navigation is a really important factor to the success of a website. Having links dotted around your site will feel like wading through syrup for your visitor. Remember, if your website is hard to read, plus difficult to navigate around, your visitor simply will not bother and go somewhere else. I tend to have my main navigation at the top of my page, clearly laid out so the visitor knows exactly where to access everything. In general, the links you want in your main navigation are:
– a link to your homepage
– a link to your contact page
– a link to your products / services page
Obviously, what to put in your main navigation will differ between websites, but those above three are important ones to have.
Interact with your visitor through your website. We want the visitor to get involved in the experience. This is a golden opportunity for you to put a sign up box on your site, where your visitor can sign up to your mailing list. If not a mailing list, maybe a question or survey where you can gather visitor data. This can be useful for understanding exactly what your visitor wants to see on your website, it's a great opportunity for some useful visitor feedback.