Web design is a delicate process; the appearance, function and value of a website all play an important part in determining user satisfaction and experience. Getting the balance right between all factors is crucial in order to draw and maintain loyal customers. You may be providing the best services and products for your target audience, but without the ideal website to convey those goods across, you may be turning customers away.
In 2014, the emphasis of website appearance lay on simplicity. So far in 2015, flat and minimalist designs continue to be popular, the aim being to make the journey and navigation for the user as easy as possible. Your site’s design should always be based upon business goals. Having a clear aim, whether that is to inform, sell or educate, will make designing an effective website easier. Tailoring the design to the needs of the customers is extremely important. Whilst it is a great idea to draw inspiration from similar websites, making yours original is imperative. Remember to label tabs accurately and place important information such as contact information, in easy-to-find places. An open layout with clear contact information and a social media feed allows users to feel comfortable and safe.
Colour and shapes play an important part in conveying mood and messages to customers. A layout that uses too many bold colours, clashing visuals and a busy structure are likely to confuse and frustrate visitors. This is why the use of white space is essential. For a visitor, it conveys space and is easy on the eye. Neutral colours are used as main colours because they convey simple and positive feelings. Colour choices should be based on shades and tints and tailored to your business. Whites, blacks and greys are very popular but a consistent use of one or two bold colours can also be integrated into the design.
Clashing colours that are too busy and aggressive may end up upsetting customers. Therefore, a simple basic such as colour choice may determine whether visitors stay on your site. It is also important to consider the psychology behind the choice of colours and the users.
A website’s appearance is also based upon its content. Content is crucial in drawing customers to your site so make sure to prioritise your content strategy. It is easy to confuse a content plan with a content strategy. The latter is an on-going process, typically with many layers.
A content strategy begins with an analysis of target audiences and business aims. It takes into account customer and business needs. Quality content that is outdated and does not cater to the customers’ needs will not deliver business progress. Just as with the colour choice and layout of a website, content also needs to have specific aims. Content should be an on-going process that evolves with the needs of the visitors and the development of the business. The entire website process does not necessarily have to be expensive in order to be effective. Actively knowing what your target audiences’ user satisfaction is based upon will make designing the website an easier process.