Given our heavy reliance on the web, we need to create websites that stand out from the pack and convert happenstance visitors into regular users. To do this, we must understand what makes a good website. At first sight, beautiful, well-balanced design allows visitors to quickly determine whether or not your brand completes their search. On a deeper level, curated and strategic content helps you to connect to your audience. This, combined with a well-developed and high quality user experience, will keep your customers coming back.
Good design is often thought of in terms of aesthetic and emotional response. However, good web design is governed by a number of highly analytical choices. Information, structure and web rules must be considered when designing a website; aesthetic and emotional response must in turn fit into this framework. To achieve great web design the layout of your site must be easy to read, clearly defined, and cohesive. This is no mean feat.
Working within the constraints of a grid structure, we can meet the ‘musts’ of good web layout. In basic terms, a grid structure is a set number of columns within which site information is placed. A grid structure can limit the fluidity of your desired design, but it is crucial given the vast array of screen types we use. Furthermore, a responsive grid structure will flex and grow with various devices, ensuring vital information is not lost in the transition from desktop to mobile.
Typography and use of colour are two significant factors that will also better your web design. Font selection is critical to creating a clear representation of your brand. Varying font weight and size helps to create a visual hierarchy, leading your customers to the most valuable pieces of information. However, the web does have a finite number of fonts available. In selecting the perfect font for your brand you must also select one that is available for use online (web font).
Choosing the right colours to represent your brand online is equally as important. We wrote this on the importance of choosing the right colour for your brand. When we get stuck into using colour in your web design, the same rules apply. What emotional response does this colour provoke? What memories or associations does it conjure up? Beyond this, how does this colour translate to screen? Often subtle variances in tone and shade can significantly change the look of your brand online. Colour can also be used to highlight important information, or guide a user through content. It can help to define categories and boost interactivity.
There is an art to creating a website that leaves your customers feeling connected to your brand. Well-curated content – images, video and copy – can sell your services or products with minimal input from you. When users come across your website, they do so because they have entered the wide world of the web to answer a question. Great imagery immediately provokes a response from the user; they know straight away if you offer what they want. Clever copy creates a voice for your brand. Users can quickly interpret if your business possesses values they respect.
Video is an incredibly effective tool to help you connect with your audience and tell your brand story. In fact, more users are likely to view a video than read copy when visiting your site for the first time. Video is the attention grabbing tool that will engage your visitors, and entice them to delve deeper.
Great design and smart content are united by excellent development. A good web developer will execute your web design with the user in mind, while upholding the design integrity of the project. They will walk through the site as if a first time user, seeking to create an experience that keeps visitors returning. A well-developed website will be easy to use and systematically thought out. Great development includes a content management system (CMS), which helps you to manage your content, keeping your website current. Ultimately, excellent development is the key to creating a first rate, relevant user experience.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you create a first rate website, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.