While surfing through various sites, one can immediately decide which site is well designed and which one is just a run-of-the-mill type. Websites which are user-centric and focuses primarily on the usability rather than visual appeal, make a head-start in the online world. In short, an effective website design works on how each user would think while navigating through the site.
However, there is more to it. Do users need extra labor to analyze how to find what they need? Can the design be able to keep on the user’s attention and enthusiasm while they go through the site? Take a look at top ten tips and tricks to make a popular and effective website design.
Make the Navigation Intuitive
A website that is designed well would not allow users to think too much in deciding the action. In other words, the navigation should be intuitive so that users know what to click without beating their eyelids.
When a web page has topics, sub-topics, links, etc logically placed, it is easier for the user to maneuver through various pages without a doubt. When the content, images, or design is obvious, it is easier for the reader to try out links and pages of the website.
The best way to make sure that the navigation and design are user-friendly, try reducing cognitive load. One way to ensure this is that you can create an intuitive website design if users can get in and out of the website without any difficulty.
Remove Unnecessary Hurdles
Often, websites ask for personal credentials, such as email IDs, address, contact numbers, etc. Elaborate forms are quite unnecessary even in e-commerce transactions. Many email providers only ask for few personal data and give you the option to start sending or receiving emails immediately.
Many experts also opine that users would not readily give information, such as age or salary structure. Why ask for an email ID also even before the user actual gets the service? Many e-commerce sites ask for emails only when the user has gone through the service or product features.
If credentials are absolutely necessary, a good website design would offer a form with an orientation that is comfortable to read. In horizontal orientation this objective is achieved as users don’t have to scroll over and over again to fill in the form.
Keep User’s Interest
It often happens that websites are designed well to look visually appealing. A graphic artist for instance, would place an interesting image that goes with the text. A marketing person would lobby for videos so that the users get glued to the video.
In reality however, a website that is primarily designed for the user, gets the top mark. This is so because, users find the website far more suitable to read or navigate. But, how would you create a simple design and interesting at the same time?
The best way to deal with this issue is to provide simple images, but apt text to catch the attention of the user. Words such as, “discount”, “free”, “one-stop shop”, etc would at once draw users. Images are also fun and attractive. However, make sure it does not fetch unnecessary questions to the reader’s mind.
Write in an Effective but Lucid Language
Although it sound incredible, but it is true that content is the king in most websites. You may have created wonderful images, apt buttons and links, but your site can go to doldrums if the content is flowery, fluffy, and coaxing the user to take up a product or a service.
For instance, a long drawn text would not be read by most users. As most surfers are connected to the Internet in want of information and not to read pages of content, it is vital to introduce visually appealing styles and bullets to place your point.
The only treatment to this kind of website design is to use language and style that is concise, easily understood, and commonly used by all. When you categorize the content and place them in correct bullets, you have done a major part of the job required in this treatment.
Go for Simplicity as Your Best Policy
Almost all website designers would love to show their skills when given a chance. And, a website is wonderful arena to showcase the skill-sets of experts. But, what would the user gain by going through the elaborate designs?
Sometimes, the design is just too much for the user who is looking for information written in plain format – without any bias. The users also want the apt information and not round-about way of making a point.
The only solution here is to follow the age-old principle in website design – Keep it Simple (KIS) principle. Try using easily understood and obvious text in buttons, links, and content defining action to make it simple and easy for the users.
Don’t Clutter the Website
If you think that information and tips stacked in a page can work wonders for your site, you are wrong. The main idea is to decrease the cognitive load of the visitors when they visit your website.
A website should ideally have areas for text, images, buttons, links, and immense white spaces or breathing spaces for the user. If a website has loads of content, then it is difficult for the user to immediately divide into sections, scan each section further, analyze them to get the information they were looking for.
If the user finds a website rather untidy and messy, they’d not remain more than 10 seconds here. The result: the unfortunate website would get depleting traffic day by day.
To fight out this issue, use white space but dark text color to let it stand out from the background. Make the color combination pleasing to the eye. With sufficient white space, relevant but less content, you would find your website far more appealing.
Impart What You Want — Effectively
If you want to make a point or invite users to buy your products, say so effectively. The way points are clarified and communicated to the users is tremendously important. For instance, the typography, readability, emphasis, clarity, consistency in the points, and screen layout has far-fetched possibilities in making a website design successful.
To ensure that your website has a structure that has a visually aesthetic presence in its look-n-feel, create a conceptual structure, logical screen layout, and unambiguous elements. If you can state a point with minimal text, the better it is for your website.
Use Easy, Quick, Steps to Explain a Point
As specified in the previous point, a design which uses minimal elements to state a point is quite appealing to the users. Today, many websites have large icons and simple text to delineate a point.
A website few years old would look out of place when compared with the modern-day designs. However, if the icons, text, buttons, and steps help in lucidly explaining a concept, why not use it?
When functions of a website are visible at a glance, it is surely designed well. It does not really matter the way this objective has been realized. What matters is how quickly it has been able to drive the point home.
Don’t Negate Usual Designing Principles
Although modern day principles are good enough to design a wonderful website, it does not mean that traditional designs are not up-to-the-mark. Ask yourself whether the design is as per user’s expectations? If you have gone overboard with the novel designs, you might as well increase the cognitive load of the user rather than reducing it.
Conduct Tests and Ask for Opinions
A website design is truly a well-made one when it goes through a series of changes, makeovers, and criticisms. You need to test every element used in the website. Check it from the point of view of a creator, quality auditor, and user. If you are satisfied, ask for valuable opinions by conducting surveys.
In short, creating an effective website design is surely a great fun. However, you have a lot of homework to do before it finally makes its way to the top.
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