5 Things to Consider When Designing a Website
Designing a Website — the Right Way
We have all been too poorly designed websites before. And most likely, you can’t think of an example on the top of your mind. That’s because you probably left the site quickly and with a bad taste in your mouth. Websites that work will draw you in and encourage you to stay longer. Websites that are unappealing and difficult to navigate will make you want to go elsewhere — and quickly.
If you depend on your website to attract customers, build your public image, and develop your brand, you need to take web design seriously. You don’t need to have a perfect eye for aesthetics when designing a website. But be sure to keep these five crucial factors in mind.
Inject Quality Graphics
It’s difficult to overstate how important graphics are for great website design. You use text, videos, podcasts, and interactive elements to connect with your website traffic, but graphics are what draws them in and set you apart. There are no hard and fast rules about what makes for a good graphic vs. a bad graphic, but these guidelines will certainly help.
- Use graphics that are relevant to your audience
- Use graphics that stick in people’s minds
- Use graphics that reflect your brand
- Use images that do not distract from the user experience
Offer Simple Navigation
Once people arrive to your website, it’s up to you to draw them further in. You do that by making it easy to navigate, even if the user has only a casual interest. By now, most of us have an intuitive feel for how to navigate through websites, but there is no reason to over-complicate things. Keep these four universal principles in mind when designing a website:
- Make your hypertext links easy to identify
- Streamline your navigation bar
- Keep your sidebars separate
- Always use a footer
New Parallax Design
You may not have heard the term parallax design before, but you have almost certainly been to a website that utilizes it. This term describes websites where the background scrolls at a slower rate than the foreground, creating a sense of depth that is new to the web. These are a few great examples of parallax design:
Publish Engaging Content
This one should go without saying, but you would be amazed how much of the web is boring, repetitive, recycled, and not worth your time. If you expect visitors to come to your site, stay on your site, and come back again, you need to create an engaging experience for them. Articles are great, but consider adding other elements like these when designing a website:
Make it SEO-Friendly
Even if you design the most amazing website in the world, no one will find it if you don’t take search engine optimization (SEO) seriously. You are almost surely competing with other websites for the same traffic, and if your site is not optimized to show up at the top of Google results, your site will be buried below hundreds of other sites. Effective SEO can be tricky, but there are some basic steps you can take to increase your ranking immediately:
- Use titles, URLs and descriptions strategically
- Update your content regularly
- Provide faster load times
- Utilize Google authorship
- Register with Google and Bing webmaster tools
Don’t Forget to Be Creative
The web is a crowded place, and much of it can be bland. Taking a creative approach built on a sound foundation of design can help you distinguish your site. It’s the first step to expanding your online presence.
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