Design is one of the most critical components of a website. After all, it incorporates everything that viewers see about your site. Comparing it to that of a physical office, it is what your customers see when they visit your establishment. More often than not, the design can make or break your website as a poorly designed one can significantly impede the effectiveness of your page.
Having a powerful web design means being able to keep up with the times by regularly checking if the web design elements you have in place are still effective. What may have been considered as acceptable a year ago may not be applicable anymore at present. That said, here are the critical components of great web design:
1. An Appropriate Theme
When you sit down with the rest of your design team, one of the very first web design considerations you should discuss is your theme. This refers to the overall mood that you want to have on your website. This is the starting point of any design element, as it is here that your web designers can choose the right colors to use, and even the appropriate font size. Whether you’re incorporating a downloadable theme or having a custom one made, one thing stays constant: you need to make your theme appropriate to the niche of your website. For instance, if you are a tech blog or if you are trying to sell technology-related products, you may want to go for darker shades of gray, black, and blue. If you are selling children’s items, then this is the time to choose bright colors.
When selecting between themes, you generally have two options:
- Pre-designed themes that can either be paid or free
- Custom-designed themes
If you are still starting small on your business, and you do not have all the money to spend on an entire team to create a custom-designed theme, you can go for pre-designed ones. Thanks to technology, there are numerous pre-designed themes all over the Internet that are also for free. All you have to do is select the right one that matches the niche of your business. Just because your theme is pre-designed doesn’t mean that it is less effective. The only caveat, though, is that there might be another website that will have exactly the same theme as you do.
If you have more time and budget on your hands, then you can also go for custom-designed themes. This means that you have a team creating the theme for you based on your individual needs and preferences. Though more costly, this also means that there will be no other website that will have a theme exactly the same as yours.
If your theme is misaligned with the niche of your website, your visitors will have a hard time recognizing if this particular website is yours.
2. The Right Color Schemes
After deciding on the theme of your website, it’s now time to decide on the color scheme next. While this may seem easy once you already have a theme, it’s not an element that should be taken lightly. Colors make your site look coherent. A basic rule you can remember is to keep your number of colors to a minimum so that you can avoid having a very busy web design.
When you have too many colors on the page, it can distract your viewers or encourage them to leave. They may also be hindered from having a pleasurable experience as they shop or read the content on your website.
Here are other points for you to consider regarding the color scheme of your website:
- Do not let the colors of your background clash the colors of your text
- Use bolder colors for your headings, titles and your “Contact Us” and “Search” sections
3. The Typography Or Font
Typography is also commonly referred to as the font of your website. With hundreds of fonts for you to choose from, this can be one of the most complicated decisions to make. How do you know if a particular font will work best for your site? One rule to keep in mind is that your font should be coherent with the theme of your website as well.
For instance, if you are talking about travel and leisure, you want to keep your fonts casual. If you are selling wedding-related items, or gowns, for instance, you want to use elegant fonts. If you are talking about children’s education, that’s when you can opt for playful fonts. But if you are writing about business, then you should keep your fonts simple and professional-looking.
4. An Easy Navigation All Throughout
Test the fonts out yourself if you can read them clearly. If not, then you should change the font style.
Ease of navigation is also a part of the web design that you create. No matter how well-made or how well put-together everything looks, you are still going to lose visitors if your website isn’t easy to navigate. For instance, if your website visitor gets lost while trying to go through your site, they will immediately leave yours for another that has a more user-friendly interface.
Here are tips for how you can incorporate ease of navigation on your site:
- Keep your Search button easy to find
- Have a scroll bar
- Enable users to go back to the Home section with ease
- Divide content into various pages
- Group areas into tabs or subheaders
5. The White Space
White Space refers to that space on your website where it is blank or empty. This is a more modern design scheme that integrates the principles of minimalism into your web design to make your site look more professional, clean, and attractive. This gives your visitors a chance to “breathe” or to rest their eyes. The more open spaces that you have, the easier it becomes for your website visitors to view and even appreciate the content on a particular webpage.
6. Allow For Ease Of Contact
Loyal followers will likely want to reach out to you, whether you’re a high-end business website or a simple blog site. This is why it’s imperative to include a “Contact Us,” “Write To Me” or “Reach Me” tab as part of your web design element, especially for your homepage. This helps your design team know what tabs they need to factor in to keep your homepage clean and less busy. For instance, this section also needs to link to your social media accounts, if you have any. It also needs to show the following information: your office address, office contact number, and a map, if you have a physical store.
Without a Contact Us section, your website ceases to be relevant and friendly to your loyal following. They would want to know how to reach you should they have concerns with the items that they bought, or should they wish to affiliate with you.
7. Fast Loading Time
When you have already successfully incorporated all the design elements that you desire for your website, the next step is testing your page loading time. Especially if your site is heavy on images and videos, this can significantly cut down your page loading time. Hence, you need to make changes again, or little tweaks here and there on your design element, to make it load faster.
When it comes to acceptable page loading speeds, you should only let your website visitor wait for five to fifteen seconds. Anything beyond that period is considered too long, especially in a world where Internet users are always looking for speed.
If you need to have images on your blog, leave it to only one or two media per blog post. If you are selling products and services, take the time to delete the photos of products that are no longer in stock or are no longer being sold.
Here are some other ways you can incorporate fast loading speeds on your page:
- Enable a compression setting on your files, so that there is the option to load faster
- Optimize every photo or every video that you have by ensuring that they are relevant and have a purpose of being on your page
8. A Mobile-Friendly Interface
A lot of Internet users today are browsing the web through their mobile phones. As more individuals crave for convenience, gone are the days when you would see a lot of people lugging around bulky and heavy laptops. Almost everything can be done on cell phones and even on the iPad. If you do not design your website to be mobile-friendly, you are losing potential visitors to another more mobile-friendly site that sells the same products as you or have the same niche as your blog.
Remember that as you design your website, Search Engine Optimization techniques are still essential for you to consider. It is only through proper SEO techniques that your page can reach the top landing spot in search engines like Google whenever someone keys in a search. Without these techniques, you cease to be effective and you will only drown in a sea of competition.
In this regard, one of the most up-to-date SEO techniques you can apply is to make your website mobile-friendly. Through this, you expand your reach of visitors, thereby driving more traffic to your site.
9. The Right Media
When you think about media for your website, one of the very first things that come to mind are images. But as you design your site, do not only leave options for photos. You should also add videos from time to time to balance out your media. Keep in mind that some Internet users prefer to watch videos as they find reading huge blocks of text quite tedious.
Whenever you insert photos and videos on your website, be sure that these are clear to view. Stay away from images that are too vibrant or are painful to the eyes. For your videos, make sure they don’t clash with the colors of the background. To optimize your media better, give your visitors the option to view the video on HD mode or not.
10. A Business Website Or Logo
Especially if you are designing a website for a business, it is imperative that you can efficiently put in your business logo. If you do not have one, then you can also ask your website designers to design a logo for you. In this manner, your logo, theme, and website colors go hand in hand and blend well with each other.
Because your logo speaks of what your website is all about, it should also be incorporated into your website design accordingly. In most cases, the logo is often found on the upper left-hand corner of the homepage. Even if your visitors transition to various pages or tabs on your website, the logo should still be visible. This makes it easier for your visitors to remember that this is your website and that this logo is representative of your website. When you have your business logo strategically placed on your website, it also makes you look more professional and credible.
11. An Open Line Of Communication
Apart from the “Contact Us” section on your web design, you should also have a place in your homepage or a specific section where people can leave their comments and suggestions. One of the primary purposes of this section is for you to have an open line of communication with your followers or your website visitors. Through this, you can take note of your visitors’ or followers’ feedback, and respond to them in a timely manner. This can make them feel more special when you take the time to reply to their comments and suggestions, thus increasing your rapport with your audience.
Remember that in SEO, responsiveness in your website and open communication are vital. Even if the comment might not be positive, this is still better than having no comments at all.
To summarize, your web design should meet three major standards: functionality, simplicity, and attractiveness. Without these, visitors on your site aren’t going to be encouraged to continue reading your posts, watching your videos, or buying the products and services that you offer. Internet users are becoming more straightforward—they don’t want elaborate, colorful, and messy web designs. They want convenience so they can get what they are looking for from your site quickly and comfortably.