Web design is the clothes and the personality you give your business, to meet and greet your online customers. Many consumers, in this age, make first contact with a business through its website. This, therefore, requires some careful thinking around how you want your business to come across, and what sort of impact you want to leave your customers with.
There are a few ideas that should be considered when designing your web page; these include visual aesthetics, content, and user experience (otherwise called UX).
We all have memories of going onto a company website, whilst having the thought that there’s a probability you may get conned. That site; is either so dated in style or lacks any identity, that you cannot possibly believe it’s an operational business. We have also all had the adverse experience where you arrive at a website, and everything feels and looks so enticing that you want to buy things you didn’t think you needed or read things you didn’t sort out to read. You could attribute both customer emotions and behaviours largely to how the website either invites you in or steers you away.
A sure way of encouraging potential customers to look further into your site is by being concurrent with the latest web design trends. As we know, nothing in life is set in stone. Everything moves and changes with time, and sure enough, so does website design. By not keeping up to date with these trends, you risk looking dated- which from a user perception, can de-value brand image.
Yes, your website now looks pretty or cool, but what’s keeping your users on there? If there is nothing on your website that allures the user to stay on or come back, it’s as useful as a chocolate teapot (a terrible British idiom, but appropriate). Therefore, the content of a website is a cornerstone of online success.
It’s important to note that although little content is bad for a website, bad content is just as bad-maybe worse.
Having bad content can feel like that person, that everyone has encountered in their life, who just doesn’t know how to tell a story. With no consideration for word economy, articulation, and delivery, you are left; confused, exhausted, and somewhat angry that you lost 5 minutes that you’ll never get back. These emotions are sometimes felt after trying to decipher website content- unlike listening to someone’s story, you can leave a website mid-read without feeling rude, luckily.
But what’s the key to having good content?
- First, it needs direction, particularly towards your desired customer. There’s little point in posting things that aren’t captivating your customer/audience, and if anything, it makes it harder for your users to navigate their way to the content that is appropriate for them.
- Content also needs to be direct and to the point, any vagueness and jargon can really leave users disinterested due to over-complication. Directness allows users to gain any information they may want or need in a quick and easy fashion.
- Try to keep it brief. Often, people aren’t wanting to scan prolongingly through text to find the information they need, as it’s a tiring endeavour. Keeping it brief cuts this out.
- You don’t want to risk having too little on a page, however, so ensure to make use of images and ensure they are appropriate to the content.
User Experience (UX)
The final cornerstone of a successful website is the user experience. User experience refers to how intuitive your website is to use and navigate through. The use of icons and tab naming should be logical, to avoid misdirection and confusion. Ensuring your website is optimized to operate across every browser and device will satisfy all users. Essentially, these components will retain users.