Everybody still speaks about good website design — but do you know what that is? For example, how do you tell if your website design works? How do you know what they’re looking for? It is hard to recognize without a clear metric for measuring quality and performance. With that in mind, here is an overview of key aspects of strong website design, along with questions you should ask yourself to measure your own site:
Strategy is behind successful website design. Only the most beautiful, user-friendly website doesn’t work when it doesn’t deliver what your business needs. So ask oneself: Do new visitors to your site get a clear understanding of who you are and what you are offering when they arrive? Does your websites design direct visitors to do as you would like them to? Is there a simple strategy which will inform your design? If not, then your design isn’t as good as it might be. To determine the efficacy of your website design strategy, run your site through these questions:
- Which category is my business in, and is this stated on my website in an obvious way?
- What is the website supposed to achieve? Has it accomplished with the design?
- Who is your target audience, and does the concept of the website take them into account?
- What would you like your site visitors to do on your website, and does the design encourage them to do that?
What you should do next: identify your brand identity and set clear goals for your website-then match your web design accordingly. This is far more likely to work when a specific plan guides the website.
Usability concerns the functional considerations of what goes into good website design, including speed, user-friendliness, security and technical information such as sitemaps, etc. Many of these particulars are not easily noticed; when you type in the sites URL, you don’t see the security of a website. Usability is still a make-or-break problem for working websites. If due to poor navigation, a visitor can not locate what he or she is searching for, he or she usually will leave. Both search engines and tourists will note if pages take far too long to load. So ask yourself to see how accessible your website is:
- How long will it take to load my pages, because the tourists will be bored waiting? (Testing page speed is by using Google Web Speed Insights.)
- Is it so easy to find information?
- Is there a visitors search button on your site?
- Are the links all working properly? (W3C Link Checker checks for broken links.)
- How does the site work in a number of different browsers? (Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox etc.)
- Is my website operating correctly on mobile devices?
What to do: Find every possible way to make your platform as accessible as possible. Imagine coming as a visitor to it and trying to find details. Therefore, go the extra mile in terms of protection, and also protect the personal data of customers.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that doesn’t mean that aesthetic principles are not abundantly obvious to guide your website design. The best web designs align with their brands and create positive visitor impressions. They are clean, and they complement the content they convey. Consider: Checking the efficacy of the aesthetics of your website by asking yourself:
- Will the style of my website suit my brand in terms of colour, sound, graphics, etc.?
- Is the style consistent over the entire website?
- Is that style going to match my target audience? (i.e., toy company cartoons, sleek style on a legal website)
- How does the site feel — Orderly or messy? Sparse or overwhelmed? Playful or Official? — So how do my priorities align?
- Where is my message getting in the way of pictures or decorative touches?
What you should do: Get rid of any style choices that undermine the message about your brand. Make sure your website design and logo align. Take into account your target market, and base your website style on that.
Good Web Content
In terms of content, the two main things to consider are readability and usefulness. Readability is essential because if your visitors are unable to determine your content, be it because it is too small or in a pale colour or in an unreadable font, there is no way to get your message across. Needless to say, usefulness is just as important because if your content doesn’t matter to your reader, you lose it or it anyway. Here are some questions to run through the content of your website to assess its quality. Ask yourself:
- Can I read the fonts I have chosen?
- Is there sufficient contrast between the colours of the background and colours of the font?
- Is the whole passage big enough?
- Is that content relevant to the reader?
- Is the content concise but useful, anyway?
- Does the design make it easy to find content?
What you should do: evaluate all of the text on your website — does it effectively communicate your message? First, will the text be readable to visitors? Second, do they think about what they read? Go for a design that makes it useful and readable for all your content.
There are many ways your website design has an impact on search engine optimization — as Search Engine Journal points out, “Search engine optimization and social media marketing all starts with strong website design.” Does your website, for example, have a lot of graphics? If so, they are not available to search engines. To get search engines to know what you’re displaying, you need to add ALT tags to your descriptions of photos. Does your HTML work? If not, then your search rankings could be hurt. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure the website design is optimized:
- Are all my pictures optimized with tags ALT?
- Is my coding effective, or can unnecessary lines be eliminated?
- Did I use important keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, tag headers, etc.?
- Do you have a sitemap?
What you should do: Don’t make the mistake of thinking of improving the search engine and creating the website is different. Consider how your template affects the search rankings, and adjust accordingly.
What should you think?
How does your website design work based on the above characteristics? How will this be bettered? What steps will you take to make the design more efficient?
We hope you enjoyed this article, if you need help with your web design or need more help and advice then get in touch. We have a team of expert website designers who can ensure your every business need and requirement is catered for to encourage more visitors to your site who will hopefully spend money with you!