3 Golden Rules of Web Design
When you boil it down most jobs are fairly simple… Once you know what you are doing. As is the case with Web Design and Development
Users Come First.
The 21st century version of the customer is always right – The user experience (UX) is tantamount for the success of your website. Think about your user – what will they want from your website? This means make it easy for them, whether it is
– making sure that it is responsive for different screen sizes
– make the information easy to find and easy to understand
– make it fast – a speedy website is essential if you want people to continue to use your website.
– Make it familiar – we are creatures of habit and use icons to save time so a gear/cog usually means settings or a trolley would be your shopping cart. Don’t assume that your user will intuitively know a new icon. If you want to create iconography make sure it’s easily understood and have a key or “hoverover” in an easy to find place.
You Come Second.
Your aim, in having a website in the first place, is to get the user to do something – so make sure it drives them to that goal. Plot out the user journey you want anyone to take from whatever page they land on. On a publisher’s website, whose livelihood is from ad revenue then their goal might be for a user to consume as many pages as possible thus serving as many ads as possible – To help this along they will have suggested articles with catchy titles. In Wikipedia’s case they are not trying to serve you ads, rather they deliver information, so they have a very simple interface with the bare facts so you get what you want as quick as possible but they also know a user might want more information on a term they come across, so they have their cross linking game down pat – Wikipedia provides a great resource for the world’s enjoyment and education and they do it time and time again – which is why they don’t need ads or subscriptions the product is so good, they can live of donations of people that appreciate it. If you have a blog but you want to drive leads for your contracting business make sure you have strong call to actions on your blog posts that lead a user to make an enquiry or take up an offer.
Once you have covered the basics of UX and User Journey it’s engagement time – make sure the website speaks to your brand – engage them by showing off your uniqueness – whether it is adding some flair to the designs – creating some videos that show you at your best or copy that screams “we are the that you’ve been looking for”.
Remember the internet is a free global market place. Standing out is not simple and simply being there isn’t good enough. So, spend time making sure you have a plan that encompasses the above and don’t forget websites are a living embodiment of your brand, so make sure your plan goes beyond today and includes both a clear mechanism for measuring performance and the flexibility to evolve with your audience.