There is a lot that goes into a quality web design. This is because the web design is actually more important than the content that is on the site, at least in terms of finding and keeping an audience. If you are in the process of having a website designed or are entertaining the thought of building a website, here are a few things you should know about good web design.
Good Visual Design
All of the top websites on the Internet today got there because they are visually pleasing. It doesn’t matter how good the information is, how great the products are or how incredible the multimedia elements are, if your website layout and design makes people cringe, they won’t stay long enough for the rest of it to matter. A clean, uncluttered layout is usually preferred.
Thoughtful User Interface
Now that customers enjoy looking at your site, they need to be confident in their ability to use it. Making your navigation easy to find and use, using fonts that have contrast, are clear and of a good size, using headers and sub-headers consistently throughout the website are all ways to help your readers feel their way around your site.
Primary Navigation Above The Fold
Speaking of your navigation, you will want your primary navigation such as links to other parts of your site, product search boxes and more to be “above the fold” and prominently displayed. Here you will want to brand your site by placing your logo in the upper left hand corner of the site as well as links to other pages. Make sure that this is consistent throughout your site to prevent confusion.
Repeat Navigation In The Footer
Having additional navigation in the footer will ensure that you provide intuitive navigation to all of your customers in a way that makes sense to them. This makes it easy for them to find exactly what they are looking for.
By now, everyone knows that content is king. You need quality content that brings readers to the door and keeps them wanting more. Find ways to help your customers with your content, no matter what that content might be.
Do not, under any circumstances, leave out a way for your readers to get in touch with you. If customers can’t contact you directly, either by contact form or through more traditional means such as by phone or snail mail. Try to include at least two ways for customers to contact you.
You need a sitemap to help search engines index your website and it can be an invaluable tool for your readership that will help them find exactly what they are looking for. Add a sitemap to your site, especially if you can’t add a search box.
Cross Browser Compatibility
There are so many different browsers and platforms out there that you have a really good chance of missing a large segment of the population if you don’t have a responsive website design. You will want your website to look great on Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, and all of the mobile device browsers as well.
Web Optimized Images
Your images, videos and other multimedia elements, which are designed to bring readers in, will quickly turn them off if you don’t optimize them for the web. Become familiar with image editing software and learn how to save your images to a web-friendly format prior to uploading them to your site.
And these are just the beginning of what constitutes a quality web design. To learn more, please visit a local web design firm who can take you through the website design process.