A site that looks clean and user-friendly is one of the first things potential customers see. They go right to your company’s value proposition, and if it doesn’t ring true, they move on to the following site. Investing time in designing your website can help drive more business through other digital marketing channels like email marketing or social media. In addition to getting more exposure for your company, you’ll also get a return on your time by automating maintenance around the site, including updates and revisions as necessary. Whether it’s your first time designing a website or looking for new tips for creating an effective layout, here are five practical design principles you can incorporate into any new site design project.
Focus on Information architecture
The navigation on your website is one of the essential parts of the design. If visitors can’t easily find the information they’re looking for, they’ll leave the site or go elsewhere to see what they need. At a high level, the navigation on your site should take visitors from the top level to the site’s main sections. These sections could be subsections like blogs or sub-pages for different product types. When designing your site’s navigation, keep these principles in mind:
Provide an easy way for users to navigate through your site.
Keep the navigation hierarchy clear and natural.
Choose which navigation links to include on the site.
Ensure that the site’s navigation leads to the most appropriate page for the visitor.
Embed relevant search functionality within the navigation.
Choose the right navigation system for your site.
Use clear calls to action
There is no better way to draw attention to your business than with a clear call to action. When you write your CTAs, choose what action you want your visitors to take. If you want them to sign up for your mailing list, make that clear. If you want them to buy a product, make that clear. Once you’ve defined your CTAs, how you implement them is just as important. Consider some of these design principles when writing your CTAs: Use verbs, not nouns.
Avoid vague language. – Use fluent writing.
Make each action easy to understand. – Avoid acronyms. – Make your CTAs short and to the point.
Write your CTA copy in a conversational tone.
Avoid using technical language.
Make your CTAs concise and concise.
Make them short, sweet and easy to read.
Make them as simple as possible.
Think about your site's content first
When designing your website, remember that one of the main reasons people visit your site is to discover new content. Different types of businesses have different roles in the market, and their content will also be added. For example, a wedding photographer’s website should feature images, videos and essays about their work. A real estate agent’s site, on the other hand, should feature property listings and perhaps relevant real estate articles. While it’s essential to design your website to reflect your brand, it’s even more critical to prepare for the content you want to publish. Remember that your site’s design should reflect the natural flow and flow of your site’s content.
Show, don't just tell
There is a temptation to write articles that contain only text. However, images and videos with call-to-action buttons like “learn more” can help your visitors understand your content more memorably. To pull off this design approach, hire a web designer or create a content management system (CMS) that allows you to add images and videos and then integrate them with your website. When choosing which images and videos to include on your site, consider the following design principles: – Ensure that the images work well with your site’s design. – Choose images that represent your brand and help to convey your message.
Keep images to a minimum and avoid using stock images.
Create your images for use on your site.
Use images that inspire and help to inform.
Always use keywords in your images’ captions.
Watch your site’s loading times.
Avoid using Flash on your site.
Incorporate animations and video
A website that’s only text and images is boring and uninformative. Adding animations and videos to your site can help to liven up the experience for visitors and encourage them to stay longer on your site. While you don’t want to overdo it, adding animations to your website can help draw attention, add interest and make your content more memorable. Animation and video are incredibly effective when used to complement your site’s navigation. They can also be used as call-to-action buttons to encourage visitors to sign up for your email list, for example, or to check out your products. Hire a web designer or create your website CMS to incorporate these elements.
Whatever business you’re in will always be new and existing customers. The best way to receive these new customers is to create a memorable impression on your current customers. By focusing on the design of your website, you can draw more attention to your brand and create a more personalized experience for your current and potential customers. In addition, by incorporating these design principles into your site, you can create a more appealing, functional and accessible experience that will encourage users to stay longer on your site and eventually take action.
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