Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Web Design
The importance of effective web design cannot be underplayed. Having a website that not only looks amazing but is user-friendly is the aim of any web designer. While designing a web designer needs to look at his work from the point of view of the user so as to be effective in creating a good website. Lets just quickly take a look at some do’s and don’ts of effective web design.
Before we highlight what you should do lets first look at what you should avoid at all costs.
1. LONG INTRODUCTIONS
Well, this is something that you should absolutely avoid at all costs for effective web design. People on the internet are not accustomed to spending long periods of time just reading things and going through content, they have low attention spans which means that you have that much less time to convey your message. In order to be effective, you need to keep it short and simple. You need to convey your message whether it be a description of your product or the services you can provide in just one or two lines. This way you have their attention for long enough for them to know whether you are right for them and whether they would like to use your services.
Having long introductions would only hamper your interests as it would lead to a failure of communication. On the other hand, if your competitor is more effective and succinct in his ways then you would lose out. Quality doesn’t always require quantity and that is why it is important to have good content but also short content.
2. FORGO CONVENTION
Now it is very important to stand out. You need to be able to design a website which stands out among the crowd (competitors) but you must always remember that your top priority is also to promote your product. You can’t possibly be effective in promoting your product if the customer faces a herculean task in understanding the layout of your website and getting to where they want to go. In fact, the harder it is for the customer to access your website the more likely you are to lose traffic. Keep it simple and follow convention in order to be effective in web design. The users are used to a certain layout which they will not have to learn how to navigate through and this is the general convention that you should follow. This allows the users to use your website and get all the information they require in an easier manner which leads to them going through more of your content which is obviously an advantage for you. So, keep it simple and old fashioned.
3. POP UP ADS
Now in all websites pop up ads might be very important either for revenue generation or for prompting subscriptions, however, if your pop-ups come up too early it can have a disastrous effect for you. What needs to be understood here is that no matter how good the content of a pop-up ad it is always going to be intrusive in nature. It will interrupt the users while they go through the content on the website and more often than not lead to irritation and complete abandonment of the website. The easy fix here is delaying the pop-up ads. Delay the pop-ups long enough to allow the user to go through more of the content so that they can see what you have to offer and see the value of the content and services on your website. This is a must when it comes to effective web design as the whole point of carefully designing a website is to lead to greater imbibition of the content and increase in traffic and giving people an uninterrupted experience for the longest time will enable the increase in traffic and the higher imbibition of content.
4. USE OF TOO MANY VARIANTS
Now when you think effective web design you might think fonts and colors. The different font styles and the different sizes you could use to beautify your website. The different colors that you could blend in to make it attractive. On this point trust me you do not want to go overboard. You might feel tempted to use six different types of fonts in as many different sizes but this is the exact opposite of effective web design. Using too many variants of a font style or size would be distracting and would take away from the amazing content you put up. You need to limit yourself to a maximum of three different font styles and keep it uniform throughout the website. This allows for a better look and it prevents the users from being distracted by the constantly changing font. You also need to focus on finding the best way to optimize all of these styles and sizes together. By this I mean you need to figure out what style compliments what part of your site best and you need to keep the different levels of emphasis you want to put upon different parts of the site as well. For example, you would generally use a bold clear font style in a bigger size for some piece of information you’re trying to highlight and smaller font size for something not as important.
Looking at color schemes, you need to make sure you stick to a singular color scheme with a limit of two to three colors. You cannot overwhelm the user with colors as again that would be distracting. You need to plan out what scheme you want to use in order to be effective at web design. For this, you need to keep in mind that colors can be connected with emotions and feelings, and as such a particular color could trigger a particular feeling leading to a better connection of the page with the user. For example, if you were promoting your swimming products using a blue color scheme with variations of blue in it would be very effective. Similarly using a bland white maybe light grey color scheme for something like meditation products would be effective. You need to keep all of this in mind to be effective at web design.
5. HORIZONTAL SCROLLING
This is something designers use to stand out, and it works out horribly every time. Horizontal scrolling is an absolute no no when it comes to effective web design. Users on the internet are generally accustomed to scrolling downwards in order keep getting more information and this is a general convention, so they do not look to the left or the right for the content. Hence, making them scroll horizontally is a bad idea as it would lead to a lack of interaction of the user with the website and abandonment of the website because they didn’t get the information they required, it really doesn’t have to be pointed out how the website being abandoned is a failure of web design and hence is something that needs to be avoided. Like it has been pointed out above things become conventions for a very good reason and as such should be followed. If you want to stand out go ahead try new things while designing but horizontal scrolling is something you should absolutely stay away from.
Before moving onto the do’s it must be mentioned that the reoccurring theme in all the don’ts seems to be that for effective web design you need to keep usability in mind. If your users can’t use it properly then it isn’t effective. It’s as simple as that. So no matter what, never give up usability for beauty.
After pointing out what to avoid during web design lets discuss what you should definitely incorporate in your designing efforts.\
1. FOCUS ON LAYOUT
You need to make sure that the users can access and use the website effectively and the best way to do that is to plan your layout early on. Plan the layout in such a manner that the user is never too far away from where he needs to be. There is a three click rule to be applied here. Basically, the user should always be able to get to wherever he wants to be after a maximum of three clicks. For this, you need to effectively use the navigation tabs and provide clearly worded navigation categories that can be easily understood. This will allow the user to easily go through your website and not get frustrated in the process. You need to follow this to be effective at web design and get maximum traffic to your website.
2. USE GOOD CONTENT
The use of good content on the website is of the utmost importance to effective web design. Since most of the information on the site is going to be written text you need to make sure it is of high quality. An effective web designer should be able to design a website that complements the content and doesn’t take attention away from it. It is essential to create the perfect synthesis of design and content so that the dissemination of information is better. Your content needs to be relevant as well. Having irrelevant content on the website is adding no value to it and so you need relevant information that is written in an easily comprehensible form so that none of the users have any trouble understanding. All of this is essential to effective web design.
3. USE WHITE SPACE EFFECTIVELY
The value of simplicity has been pointed out time and time again throughout this article and here once again we point it out. Using white space in a creative manner instead of bombarding the website with colors can be more effective than anything else. If you do it right you come away with an elegant looking website having done no extra work to achieve great results. The use of white space is underrated in web design but it a highly effective method to try out especially if you are wracking your brain for web design ideas and cannot think of any. Keep it simple.
4. MAKE IT CONSISTENT
Consistency is very important for effective web design. You need to ascertain that there is consistency among all the pages of your website. The font styles, the color scheme, the font size, the style of writing, etc. all need to be consistent. This can really be a boost to the usability and feel of the website. Before focusing on consistency however you need to make sure you have a usable design. If you focus on consistency and make the entire website consistent but have a poor design then your website is consistent in being poor. So, focus on usability above all.
Like anything new, before confirming and settling down with a particular design take it out for a test. Get user feedback on your website. Ask your users about things like layout and navigation. It is imperative that you test out your design before settling because as a web designer you may not always have the best judgment when it comes to your website. You may, in fact, have become so familiar with the website while designing it that it is impossible for you to not think of it as a user-friendly site while in reality, it could be a confusing maze that forces your customers to click on your competitor’s link instead. The best way to know if your design is effective is to test it out. You might not have another choice.
The do’s and don’ts mentioned above if followed right and implemented properly will allow you to be absolutely effective in web design. Obviously, it was not possible to cover everything you can possibly do to make a brilliant website but we have covered the basics that need to be kept in mind for effective web design.
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