Website design – what makes great websites great?
Whether it be for personal, business or corporate use, you can’t deny that the bullseye is to have a great website that attracts visitors like a magnet.
So too often we are exposed to websites that are underdeveloped and to be straightforward, unattractive. But never despair: Studio Culture is here to help with some key elements that make a website great! Not only do we have the knack for tailored website design in Brisbane, we can throw out a few helpful tips as well!
Although these features serve as a great starting point, there are of course exceptions, which may be applied when necessary.
1. Navigation – Which way from here?
Landing on a website with little or no navigational control will undoubtedly take a toll upon the success of a site, and of course the host business. The aim of the game is to reach desired information instantly, so a website should allow for users to find exactly what they want with ease and speed. In saying this, navigation is fundamental in creating a user-friendly environment.
As you may have experienced, websites with weak navigational control often generate confusion and/or frustration, as visitors incur links with dead end pages. In such cases, users will quickly go elsewhere in search of information.
The foundations of our most recent design for Vigari Fashion Boutique were created with a strong focus on the user experience – we wanted to make the online shopping experience for Vigari’s customers as easy as possible. Using both customer feedback and rigorous testing, we were able to create a site where Vigari’s customers could easily navigate and shop without feeling lost, irritated or confused.
So keep your navigational control strong!
2. Readability – Sorry, what does that say?
We all want our website visitors to encounter a more enjoyable reading experience, right? Readability is another important component of website design that should be appropriately controlled for enhanced appeal.
There’s no pleasure in sifting through pages of clutter that no one will ever read. Information on a website should always be neat and concise; you don’t want to bore readers with irrelevant waffle, when most of the time they’re only after key informative points.
Furthermore, communication of copy should be useful and easy to read. So now’s the time to have your spellcheck geared up, as sentences that have spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar degrade the reliability of your website!
A great website to check out is coachella.com. Notice how minimal text is present but key information is made highly visible. This site is uncluttered and provides what visitors desire, all on the leading home page!
3. Speed – Make it snappy.
Internet connections are accelerating and people are becoming increasingly impatient. Although creating a fast webpage will often feel unappreciated, the thing about speed is that people only notice when it’s absent. Site speed has also been said to be an important factor for SEO.
In the digital sphere it’s been said that you have approximately 4-8 seconds to grab your viewer’s attention – otherwise, they will simply move on. Even if your content is amazingly engaging, viewers aren’t fond of waiting around; they need their information without delay. So if your website doesn’t load faster than three seconds, you’ve already failed the game, buddy.
One tool that lets you check the speed of your website is Pingdom. The general rule is to have your website load under 3 seconds. Facebook, for example, achieves this, and you’d want to hope so being the leader in social media!
Snap to it!
4. Pop-Ups – Hey, look at me!
Pop-ups can make web browsing a chore, and will often deter visitors from your website. Once initially exposed, users will vow to never approach your site again. You could look at it as – whoosh, there goes your sale!
Whether it is malware update, spyware or annoying advertisements, pop-ups often manipulate users into hitting a big colourful button. Frustrating, isn’t it? But if it’s necessary for your website to contain a pop-up, consider the following conditions:
• Be sure your pop-up isn’t scheduled to appear too quickly as visitors find it confronting.
• Don’t be sneaky and hide the pop up close button. Otherwise, they’ll simply close your page.
• Limit the amount of times your pop-up appears.
According to Fil, Studio Culture’s Design and Development Director, “Pop ups are so annoying, but they work. That’s the problem!”
Entrepreneur.com uses pop-ups to encourage users to join their mailing list.
5. Design – OH, pretty colours.
Contemporary and visually appealing design makes a website memorable. The aim is to fulfil a position within the consumers mind, and good design principles can make that happen.
The key of appealing design is to have a website built around a theme of colours, text and content that aligns with the market and brand personality. By sticking to a theme and upholding consistency, you are designing a website that is both usable and pleasing. Notice the constancy of Studio Culture’s green colour wash?
Unappealing website design often includes images that are not clear, and incompatible function on mobile or tablets. So be sure to get on top of your design strategy!
Take a look at Greenpeace’s ‘Into the Arctic’ website design. Your eyes will widen with amazement as you become exposed to the site’s quality graphics, uncluttered text and maximum consistency.
6. Management – With ease.
Very few things should get in the way of managing your website with ease. From the back end you should be able to apply changes, upload content and edit information without hassle. You want full control of what, when and where content is on your website.
There’s nothing more annoying than having restricted control over creative freedom. Imagine uploading an image that will not scale to fit certain dimensions or text that is only available in specific fonts. We want none of that, which is why flexibility in website management is extremely important.
For every website developed by Studio Culture, a customised user manual is produced and the back end is made easy-to-manage.
So ask yourself: Is my website easy to manage?
After reading these key points, you should be well on your way to a clearer understanding of what makes your website great. Perhaps now is the time to take the time to analyse your own site and ask yourself: where could improvements be applied?
Joe Fox is Studio Culture’s Business and Development Director.