What is quality website design? Before visual aesthetics, studies have shown that usability and utility are the most important aspects of website design that will determine a site’s longevity and popularity. After all, if a user can’t figure out how to get around your site or what it’s about, what’s the use? The following are some tips on how to construct effective, user-friendly web pages.
Step #1: Simplicity Comes First
It is of utmost importance that the navigation of your website is completely self-explanatory. In website design, your job is to reduce the amount of ambiguity in your web pages. Remove any misleading links, and keep all texts clear and succinct. A user should not have to spend time figuring out what a web page is about, or have to guess how to get from point A to B.
Step #2: Don’t Make Life Difficult
There’s nothing people hate more than filling out forms. The less the requirements for the user, the more likely he or she will take a minute to try out what you have to offer. Another useful technique in website design is to ask for personal information after the user has been given a chance to sample a particular product or service.
Step #3: Focus the User’s Attention
Focus attention to certain parts of your web page with the use of visual elements. Try to focus on the bigger picture first, such as what the web page is about, and focus on smaller details less. If you are using images, try to use images that are related or relevant to the theme of the web page. Users should understand immediately what you are trying to communicate with your images.
Step #4: Guide New Users Step by Step
Many web designers have experienced success with step-by-step type setups. These usually include large buttons that guide the user through the website without having to think. Utilizing this type of website design allows the user to comfortably navigate your site and sample all the major features and functions.
Step #5: Keep your Writing Simple
Studies have shown that a user’s attention span when browsing the net is very short. Usually, promotional writing is ignored, and long text blocks with no pictures or bold or italicized words are skipped. Good website design dictates that sentences should be short and concise, organized or bulleted, and written in conversational and objective language.
Step #6: Stick to Conventional Website Design
In the case of website, doing what everyone else does is not boring and uncreative, but efficient. Using conventional formats and naming links with conventional words or phrases greatly reduces the user’s learning curve.
Step #7: Test Early and Often
Statistics show that most mistakes in website design are not done in the implementation phase of a project, but in the design and planning phase. Typically, errors in the fundamental design of a website snowballs into bigger problems later. Therefore, it is crucial that you work all the major kinks in your design early in the game, and do it at regular intervals.
Effective website design will make browsing your web pages much more comfortable and enjoyable for users. Always remember to keep things simple and to the point. Following these 7 simple steps for effective website design will help you to create a clearer, easier to understand, and easier to navigate website.
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