5 Top Elements of Good Web Design
Good web design requires thought and planning. It's not enough to throw up a website and hope it does the trick to bring in more customers and help you grow your business.
If you want to design the site yourself, you will need to do plenty of research on how to do it right. It's certainly possible, but will be time-consuming, so it's a decision you will have to make. Do you want to spend time on learning how to do good web design or do you want to put your time into actually working on your business? Only you can make that choice, however we do have a recommendation:-)
Hiring a professional web designer will save you lots of time and frustration. Will it cost you something? Of course, but you should look at it as an investment in your business. Today, everyone expects companies to have a professional website to tell their visitors what they can offer them. Your website will make a lasting impression - either good or bad. Obviously, you want it to be a good one, so don't skimp on web design.
Below, we have outlined, what we feel are the top 5 elements of good web design. There is more that goes into creating an awesome website, but it's essential that it includes these five components.
A good visual design is the first thing your visitors will notice when they land on your website. Visual design encompasses:
- Layout - a clean uncluttered look is very popular today. Gone are the days of pages that have all kinds of things vying for your attention. Good amounts of white space will draw your eye to the text and images you want to emphasize.
- Colors - make your website colors suitable for the type of site you have and for the market you serve. Some audiences like bright bold colors while others will appreciate more subdued ones.
- Fonts - make fonts attractive but easily readable. Script fonts are lovely but sometimes hard to read. Presenting your information in a clear, easy to consume manner is one of your top priorities so give the needed attention to this element.
- Graphics - whether you use your (the website owner) own photos, stock photos or graphics, be sure they are high quality and clear. One thing that quickly takes down the quality of a website is to have blurry images.
Good clear navigation is essential. If at all possible, have only one line of tabs and incorporate dropdowns if you have additional pages. That way, things are kept uncluttered and easy to find.
Think about when you go to a new store for the first time. For the employees, they know where everything is, however, for the first time visitor, it's not so easy to find things. Clear signs to help you locate the areas you want are very helpful. It's the same way with a website.
Another thing relating to the navigation is to call things what they are. It might be tempting to want to be unique. For example, calling a blog something other than a blog. This can work if it's still clear what it is, but if it is confusing, don't do it.
Clear Call to Actions
Because you have looked at (and possibly created) your website, it seems obvious to you what you want people to do when they visit your site. Your visitors find it helpful if you tell them what to do. For example, some call to actions might be:
- Subscribe to our mailing list
- Read this article
- Click to get a free quote
- Click here to purchase an item
Is your website working for you? If not, it could be because you don't have clear call to actions. Don't leave it to chance and hope they figure out what you'd like them to do. Tell them. You might also want to use some graphics to point them to the right action. Notice the "click this link" in the graphic below tells people what they need to do.
Now that your website is designed, it needs to be optimized for search engine optimization. This will help it to rank higher in the search engine results.
When you use WordPress (which we do) to design your website, you can install a plugin to help with SEO. We mainly use the Yoast tool, which is the industry standard. It allows you to fill in the focus keyword for each page, along with a page title and meta description. It also gives you lots of other tips to optimize the text on the page. If you check to make sure you get a "green light" (actually it's a green dot!), you will have a well-optimized page. This is all considered "on-site" seo. This is a very good start. There is also "off-site" seo but that's another article for another time.
An element of good web design is having your website look and function great on any size device - desktop, laptop, tablet or phone - is imperative today. With 81% of Americans owning a smartphone (Pew Research Center), you can bet that many people search for businesses and products using their phone. If your website gets cut off or if your visitor can't complete the action they want to take, they will disregard your business and go on to another. Patience is not favored in today's fast-paced world.
Be sure that your website renders well on any device so people can do what they want when they get to your site. You usually won't get a second chance to impress them.
As you can see, good web design involves a lot of different aspects. If you want to try your hand at creating your own website, be sure you familiarize yourself with all of these elements. A good first impression is so important! Make the investment of either your time to do it right yourself or the money to hire a professional. Get your business started right and give it the chance to be successful.