Web design is about more than just aesthetics. It’s about usability, communication and information architecture – all of which are crucial to your site’s success.
Why Web Design is Important?
A successful web design isn’t just about making your website look good. It’s also about creating an experience that engages visitors and encourages them to take the action you want them to take.
Your website’s design is important because it defines how people perceive your brand whether they see it as professional and trustworthy or unprofessional and cheap. It also affects how easy or difficult it is for visitors to navigate through your site, which affects how likely they are to stay on the page and complete their intended action (whether it’s purchasing something or signing up for an email list).
On the face of it, web design might seem like a discipline with a fairly clear-cut definition. After all, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Website designer who doesn’t know what her job entails:
- Building beautiful websites
- Creating effective wireframes and prototypes
- Writing clean code to make sure a website looks good on every device and is easy to navigate
But as with most things in life, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Web design. In this post, we’ll explore some of the subtler aspects of designing compelling websites aspects that allow your sites not just to look good but also work well for users, search engines and visitors.
Here are the top five key elements of effective web design:
1. Using High-Quality Images
A good website needs high-quality images that will catch people’s eyes and draw them in. This is especially true if you’re using a blog or e-commerce site, where visitors will want to see what they’re getting before they make a purchase.
High-quality images can also help increase your search engine rankings, making your website more visible to potential customers.
Here are some tips for using high-quality images:
Use images that are relevant to your business
Images that don’t relate to what you do will distract from your message. If you sell products, use photos of those products; if you provide services, use photos that show how you perform them (or show examples of past projects).
Make sure the size is appropriate for the space you have available on your website. If you have limited room for an image, consider cropping it down or rotating it so it fits better in the space available.
Take note of Color Contrasts
Use plain backgrounds in place of busy ones when possible – this makes text easier to read and makes it easier for search engines to recognize the content on each page.
2. Create an Informative Homepage
A homepage is the first thing people see when they visit a website. It’s important to make sure it’s informative and inviting. A homepage should also be easy to navigate and provide enough information for people to know what you do and what services you offer.
Here are some tips from Websites In A Flash for making your home page effective:
- Use descriptive headlines with keywords
- Include a clear call-to-action button or link
- Make sure images are relevant and high quality
- Keep the design simple, but don’t skimp on aesthetics or functionality
3. Design for Mobile Devices First
Mobile devices are the future of the web. According to Google, 50% of all searches are performed on mobile devices, and that number is only growing. The reason for this is simple: Mobile devices are more personal than desktops or laptops. They’re also more portable, which means that people take them everywhere they go.
There’s no reason to ignore this trend; in fact, you should embrace it by designing your website for mobile devices first.
As a website designer, keep in mind that mobile devices require a different approach.
The average mobile device is smaller than most laptops and desktops, which means that responsive websites need to be designed differently than traditional ones. Instead of using large images and text blocks scattered around the page, responsive sites use a more minimalist approach by focusing on simplicity and readability. This ensures that whatever device is being used will have an easy time navigating through the content without having to scroll endlessly.
4. Website Speed
Speed is a critical factor in the success of your website. In fact, it’s becoming more and more important for people to have fast websites. If a website doesn’t load quickly, visitors will leave and look for another site that does load faster. A slow website can frustrate users and lead them to leave without completing any conversion goals (such as buying something or filling out a form).
In addition, website speed is an important factor in search engine rankings. This means slow sites can potentially hurt your SEO rankings as well. If your website takes too long to load, Google might even penalize you for it by lowering your ranking in its search results.
5. Make Navigation Easy to Use
Navigation should be intuitive and easy on the eyes. Don’t make users hunt around for what they need – they’ll just leave your site in frustration (and go somewhere else).
Here are some tips for making navigation easy to use:
- Make sure links are clearly marked and visible
- Use consistent icons and colors for links
- Keep links short and simple, so they’re easy to remember
- Keep all menu items in the same place on every page
- Don’t make users scroll down too far before they can find what they’re looking for.
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The points above are just the basic elements of effective web design that all designers should know. They are not earth-shattering and revolutionary ideas; rather, they are simple pieces of advice that if followed, could help improve the quality and overall look of your website. They might also help create a more friendly user experience, which is ultimately what you’re trying to achieve with your design in the first place.