Simple Web Design Tips Every Designer Needs to Know
Websites are the building blocks of the Internet which is why it really comes as no surprise that web design is one of the pillars of online marketing. As a highly visual medium, almost all, if not all online marketing firms have a team of expert web designers who are constantly on their toes and working hard to come up with the next big internet masterpiece.
Since a website is your single most powerful marketing tool online, the job of a website design company could be complex to some extent. However, it is sometimes the small details that are easily overlooked that will set apart a good web design from a horrible one.
So, as s friendly reminder, here are some simple, yet easily missed tips every designer should know.
1. Understand Your Audience and Design for Them
Photo credit: kkessler83
Even expert web designers can forget that there’s a human being, an actual person on the other side of the screen and at the end of the day, they are the “customers” of the site. Never design a site for design’s sake. Meaning, do not create a page without understanding who your target audience is.
This is a crucial first step a website design company often misses. Two things can happen. One, you will be clueless on where to start because you don’t know who you are designing for. Two, you will be able to come up with a really visually appealing site, but your audience can’t relate to it. The site becomes stale until it dies a natural death.
Always design for an audience. Take the time to know who they are. What’s the psychographics associated with them? What makes them tick? What will make them go back again and again to your site? These are the critical questions you need to answer before starting on a web design project.
2. Pay Attention to User Experience
Here’s the difference between a painting and a web design. A painting is open for interpretations. A piece of art cluttered with different shapes and figures is said to be expression of a strong emotion. On the flip side, a cluttered website is just that – cluttered. There are no accepted artistic interpretations. It is what it is.
Expert web designers know how layout can build or destroy the overall user experience a site gives to its visitors. Good layouts should be visually appealing and creatively executed without sacrificing the readability of content and usability or navigability. You may want to look into tools that automate testing like the one from Inflectra, so you can ensure you’re providing your visitors with the experience you want. Also, if you are planning to monetize your site, be sensible when allocating spaces for ads. You don’t want your site to look like a sloppily put together classifieds page.
3. Create a Positive Visual Experience
Without compromising brand equity, a good web design company should be able to titillate the eyes. As mentioned, browsing the Internet is primarily a visual activity and a good web design should be able to visually hook its target audience and at the same time, create a strong impression for the business or person it represents. Lest you forget: a site is a representation of an individual or an organization and how a site is designed should be able to build brand or individual equity.
With that being said, a superbly designed website should be able to tell a story visually and create a positive experience for its audience. Visuals should be able to stir emotions and it is only through generating this positive experience that your audience will come back to your site for more.
Your site’s layout is a contributing factor to achieve this. Other important elements include the typography you use. Don’t settle for the usual Helvetica or Arial fonts. There are other stylish fonts out there that will surely bring your site to life. Also, remember that content is not limited to the written words. Without sacrificing the performance of your site, sensibly use graphics and other visual elements such as videos. Make sure that the most important content is highlighted by employing the appropriate design aesthetics.