“Web Design Fundamentals” - How to Make a User Friendly Website
By Belinda Mathew
Web design is the reflection of visual presentation of a company’s nature of work and moto. A web design is designed by a web designer who works on layout, appearance, search engine optimization(SEO) and user experience. It doesn’t stop with that but goes on with the content which speaks about the company. Nowadays, web designing covers not only the websites but also web and mobile applications.
There are various factors which a web designer should consider while designing a website. He/she should perceive from the user experience point of view where the user shouldn’t be bored or get irritated by the content. Google analytics is a tool which lets a web designer track a company’s products, marketing, content, performance graph, etc.
Colours: Colours is what first strikes the user’s eye when they visit the website. Your colour scheme shouldn’t make the user go blind; It should be pleasing to the user’s eyes. The colours you choose must reflect the sole moto of the company. Don’t use your favourite colour. You can also refer to the colour psychology to perceive the user’s emotions and mood.
Fonts: Next in the list is fonts. Make sure the texts are visible and not get mixed with the background colour. The user should be able to read the content without any strain. There are lots of plugins available which you can use without repeating the same style throughout the website. It doesn’t have to be stylish necessarily; It should be clear. Be creative in using the texts by not following either the upper or lower case letters.
Images: Please don’t stack up the images like stuffing everything in your travel bag. They say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, so try to follow it by using fewer images which will reflect the brand’s or the company’s idea. Your creativity is the limit. You can also add videos, infographics, short videos and GIFs to make it more attractive. You can also use ‘Alt text’ where if the image fails to load or render this will represent the image description. This also plays a key role in SEO where it helps the site reach top ranking during searches.
Navigation: The user should be impressed with the website’s navigation style. A good logical page hierarchy will make your user visit often. The kinds of users differ where some will be in a hurry, some takes time and digs deeply. A website should be designed in such a way where neither of them doesn’t get bored nor irritated. The movement around the website and accessibility should be your priority.
Friendly User Interaction:
The interaction with the user should be impeccable only then the user will stay on your website. Don’t fall into the trap of the ‘three click rule’. The three click rule myth states that, if the user didn’t find the information within 3 clicks then he’s likely to leave the website for sure. This is not true. If the user is determined to search for the information he'll try to find it no matter how many clicks. The user gets frustrated if it’s not user friendly; means if there is no proper navigation or something else pops up instead of the selected information or button.
Using Grid System in Web Design:
Please stop taking things lightly and follow the protocol if it needs to be followed. The grid system isn’t something to be taken for granted. This displays the content neatly where there’s no room for confusion.
You can be creative while choosing the type of grid that fits the company’s view. Many designers avoid this grid system in the name of creativity and spoil the essence of a website making it awful and ugly. Studies show that the eye follows a ‘z’ pattern where it starts from top left side to the right and then bottom left to the right.
Speed and Loading Time:
Since there are a lot of devices these days, optimization of your website is essential. You can go further by taking responsive or adaptive design in your designing based on the client’s requirements.
It’s the exact opposite of adaptive design. In this design, less time is spent in creating more layouts; because a single layout will adapt itself analysing the device’s available space. Most of the websites nowadays follow this design since it is easy to maintain. This gives less freedom or control and is comparatively hard if you don’t know coding.
Search Engine Friendly:
This is crucial because this decides the place whether to put your website in the first page or at the back. Work on your On-page and Off-page SEO to increase your ranking among other competitor websites. Especially put great effort in Off-page SEO because even if you fail in luring traffic to your website this will help you to outreach your target audience.
Make sure not to use too many keywords and use it appropriately in your content.
Use keywords in the title of your content.
Go ahead with shorter URLs than long ones which will help google to display your website on the top.
Don’t forget to use structured data to provide more information about the content of your website.
Use XML sitemap to list all the important files from which search engines can help crawl your site.
Effectiveness of Call to Action:
The button or an image which pops up with a label such as join us, subscribe, start now, sign up, try for free, etc when you visit a website is nothing but the call to action(CTA). The purpose of this action is to make the visitor get in touch with you. You are not wrong if you had thought that it is a marketing tool. This eradicates your fear of not reaching your audience.
Use powerful short words (2 or 3 words) with offers or discounts to pull your target audience.The effective platform for this CTA will be social media platform. Use this CTA wisely because you’ll never know when your target audience will visit your page again.
You should know what the client’s needs are. Only then you can come up with a design which can make both the client and the user happy. You should know these web design fundamentals to sustain in this competitive market. Anybody can design no doubt about that, but your uniqueness makes your design stand out.